TUSCUMBIA — Two men questioned for sitting in a truck with rolls of copper and cables at a vacant convenience store are in jail, accused of taking items from cellphone towers in Colbert County, authorities said.
Dana Linn Hughes, 43, 11256 Frankford Road, Tuscumbia, and Daniel Dewayne Risner, 29, 1115 Lauderdale 226, Florence, are accused of taking items from at least four cellphone towers in the area, Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said.
He said the two men also have been connected with thefts from cellphone towers in Mississippi counties.
Hughes is charged with three counts of first-degree theft of property, three counts of first-degree receiving stolen property and one count each of third-degree burglary and criminal possession of burglary tools, May said.
May said Risner is charged with three counts of first-degree theft of property and one count each of third-degree burglary and criminal possession of burglary tools.
Authorities said reports of copper ground bars, copper wiring and copper leads being cut and taken from cellphone towers started coming into the sheriff’s office in early November. May said the thefts happened in November, December and January.
May said that on Jan. 12, Cherokee police made contact with two men sitting in a truck parked at a closed gas station on U.S. 72.
May said Hughes and Risner were in the truck, and in the back of the truck officers saw rolls of copper wire, cables and copper ground bars.
Investigators said Risner was arrested on unrelated traffic warrants. Both men were held by Cherokee police pending narcotics charges for drugs that were found in the truck, authorities said.
May said the items in the truck were taken from cellphone towers on U.S. 72, Tuscumbia; Misty Mountain Road, Littleville; Simpson Circle, Cherokee; and Lowery Road, Leighton.
“When the items in the truck were examined, the investigators found verification that the items were taken from the cellphone towers,” May said.
He said there were more than $10,000 worth of items in the truck. May said Risner has admitted to the thefts from the cellphone towers in Colbert County and said he also was involved in several in Lauderdale County.
Hughes is being held in the Colbert County Jail on bail of $10,000. Risner is in jail on bail totaling $5,000.
Tom Smith be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.