Dover man arrested in copper wire theft case


DOVER — A 29-year-old Dover man was arrested Monday after investigation into three alleged burglaries at a Kent County scrap metal business earlier this month, according to police in an affidavit.

The Delaware State Police said the business was allegedly burglarized on Sept. 4, 13 and 15, with copper wiring being removed and the warehouse damaged. Pliers and snippers were used by a suspect to gain entry, police said.

Police said surveillance video indicated that Patrick R. Furbeck allegedly wore a hat during one burglary and a ski mask during another.

Mr. Furbeck entered not guilty pleas “and denied stealing anything from the business,” a detective wrote in court documents.

During a post-Miranda interview on Monday, police said that Mr. Furbeck informed them that he “cuts grass on his property which backs up to a tax ditch” around the scrap metal yard. While he initially denied selling more than $5 of copper wires within the past couple weeks, police said, an investigator provided a receipt of sales of wires on Sept. 14 totaling $93.95.

Patrick R. Furbeck

“Patrick Furbeck advised that he must have forgotten that he sold the copper,” police said in papers.

In a Sept. 15 entry, police said, a suspect removed roughly 100 pounds of bare bright copper valued at $300. Damage to sheet metal made upon entry was estimated at $200, according to the affidavit. Police located a red stain that tested positive for blood, papers said.

When police asked Mr. Furbeck about abrasions and scabs on his left arm and left wrist, he answered that “he was involved in a motorcycle accident where he sustained road rash on his arm and leg,” police wrote in the affidavit.

Mr. Furbeck is facing 11 charges including three counts of third-degree burglary, theft under $1,500, criminal mischief under $1,000, possession of burglar tools, theft under $1,500, and wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony.

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