RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) -- Richland County deputies continue to crack down on copper thieves.
Sheriff Leon Lott announced the arrest of 27-year-old Daniel Sims Friday who, authorities say, stole 250 pounds of copper from several locations. The copper has an estimated worth around $1,000.
Deputies caught Sims selling the metal to the recycling center on Fontaine Road.
Additional charges may be coming soon.Related Stories... Lawmakers hope to foil copper bandits Sheriff announces arrests in crackdown on copper thefts Deputies searching for copper thieves
Lott says copper thefts continue to be one of the crimes his department struggles with most.
Last year, 536 cases were reported. So far this year, there have been 264 cases.
Officials suggest some steps you can take to protect yourself:
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 TMs logo the copper Use DATA DOTS Join a Crime Watch Neighborhood Association Start a Crime Watch Neighborhood Association Take advantage of the free services from the Richland County Sheriff TMs Department Community Action Team
If you notice any suspicious activity that may be related to copper theft, you're urged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.