By Gazette News Services / Tuesday April 29, 2008 A man accused of stealing more than $50,000 worth of copper wire from the Conoco Refinery in Billings was charged Monday in Justice Court.
Randy Lee Wittman, 58, appeared by video from the county jail and was charged with a felony count of common-scheme theft and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license.
According to the charging documents, on April 24 detectives were informed that Wittman may have been stealing the wire from spools inside a fence surrounding the refinery, stripping off the plastic sheeting and selling it. After witnessing Wittman drive to the location of the thefts and speed off a short time later on April 26, detectives pulled him over, the affidavit states.
In plain sight in the back of his vehicle, detectives saw a hacksaw and wire marked by Conoco, the court documents state. In the garage at Wittman’s home, detectives found plastic sheeting from the wire stacked to the ceiling, according to the documents.
Wittman then allegedly admitted to stealing wire from Conoco at least eight times in April and selling it to Golden Recycling. Wittman was ordered to appear in District Court on May 2. Bond was set at $5,000.
Published on Tuesday, April 29, 2008.
Last modified on 4/29/2008 at 12:36 am