A confession from not one -- not two -- but three suspects at the core of an organized copper theft crime ring in Grimes, Brazos, Harris and Montgomery counties, investigators say, are now behind bars.
Grimes County Sheriff's Investigators launched an investigation in January after receiving numerous reports of burglaries, each involving stolen copper wire, or materials used to cut copper, at a number of businesses in Navasota.
That trail led police to 32-year-old William Paul Neeley Jr. of Navasota , his alleged girlfriend, 30-year-old Rebecca Lorene Russell of Bryan, and 20-year Jada Ann Westermann, of Montgomery County.
Reports indicate Neeley was arrested twice in July and August for burglary of a building and theft, which authorities say, subsequently led to a confession to the organized crime.
It's believed Neeley stole an estimated $26,000 worth of copper and materials used to cut copper, from an employer.
Investigators believe 20-year-old Jada Ann Westermann of Montgomery County would turn around and sell the stolen property to various salvage yards. Investigators were able to track down the metal sales receipts from five salvage yards in Houston and Montgomery County; which, authoriteis say, subsequently led to Westermann's arrest.
U.S. Marshals arrested Westermann in Montgomery County for engaging in organized crime, a second-degree felony.
The total estimated value of the organized crime is said to be worth more than $50,000. More arrests are expected to be made.
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