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      Arrests made in Richland County copper thefts

      An air conditioning unit that was damaged due to copper theft.

      RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) - Three men have been arrested in connection with a series of copper thefts in Richland County and more arrests could be coming.

      Sheriff Leon Lott says Marko Adam Gilmore was arrested Thursday and is charged with three counts of metals/unlawful transportation/possession of non ferrous metals in a vehicle and three counts of receiving stolen goods. Troy Kennedy turned himself in on Tuesday and is charged with obtaining non ferrous metals unlawfully. Lyndon Lamar Douglas was arrested Friday and is charged with receiving stolen goods and two counts of metals/transport of stolen non ferous metals.

      Gilmore was arrested authorities say they received a tip from CrimeStoppers. He is accused of stealing copper from a business on Key Road, a business on Shop Road, and a church on Andrews Road. Combined damages to the three businesses are estimated to be about $16,200.

      Troy is accused of being tied to 150 pounds of copper stolen from a home under construction and is also a suspect in a recent copper theft from another home under construction.

      Douglas is accused of stealing copper from a businesses on Blythewood Road and Farrow Road. The copper taken from these businesses was valued at thousands of dollars, according to Lott.

      Lott says the Richland County Sheriff's Department is working aggressively to combat copper theft. He suggets some ways that to help remove the opportunity for copper theft:

      - Install cameras

      - Post ??No Trespassing?? signs

      - Put up fencing or caging up

      - Locking buildings securely at night

      - Use florescent paint or engraving to personalize your copper

      - Possibly consider putting your company??s logo the copper

      - Use DATA DOTS

      - Join a Crime Watch Neighborhood Association

      - Start a Crime Watch Neighborhood Association

      - ake advantage of the free services from the Richland County Sheriff??s Department Community Action Team

      These steps can also aid in identifying materials if they??re stolen and turn up later.

      Authorities expect additional arrests to be made.

      On March 25, the sheriff's department announced that nine churches in Richland County were victims of copper theft.

      Anyone with additional information on copper theft in Richland County should call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.