Copper-pipeDesperation makes people do strange things. In the beginning there is a feeling that something will come along and things will begin to look up again. As the days become weeks and then months this faith slowly dwindles until there seems to be no hope left. What would have never crossed their mind before slowly creeps in until it is seen as a possibility. This happened to Brett A. Roberts.

Something drove Roberts on. There was a devil on his tail and he responded. There was a vacant house on Queen Anne Road near Woodstock, Illinois. How he got in I don’t know but once in he saw a possibility few would have. In the basement Roberts found the plumbing pipes to be copper. Copper has gone up in the last few years and Roberts must have known this and devised to steal them. melted down they would feed him for days. What he didn’t count on was someone coming into the supposedly vacant residence.

The house might not have had people living in it but it wasn’t abandoned. It was simply For Sale. While Roberts was busy in the basement, hacksaw in hand, the real estate agent came in to check things out. He was interrupted in the act but got away before McHenry County Sheriff’s Police could get there. If he’d been smart he’d have worn gloves but he hadn’t thought of that.

In his haste he left behind the hacksaw and the pipes he’d already cut loose. On the pipes he left his fingerprints. Already in the criminal database they left a direct trail.

Roberts thought he could steel the copper pipes and get on with his life. He couldn’t see the future and so he didn’t know the outcome. April 14, 2011 he was charged with residential burglary and criminal damage to a property. He was found guilty. His punishment could have been up to fifteen years in prison. He was able to testify that since no one was living in the house it was no residential burglary and therefore his sentence was reduced to the possibility of three to seven years. If he got it or not, I doubt he would say the pipes were that valuable. He should have known better. After all, he’d already been convicted in the past for theft and forgery. Lesson learned this time? Perhaps, at least, one would hope so.

Sources:

Northwest Herald Friday, February 2, 2011 Pg. 3B

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130114/news/701149623/

 

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