WALL TOWNSHIP - A man and woman have been arrested and charged in connection with a series of copper thefts.
Police say January Nowitzke, of Asbury Park, and Jeffrey Simons, of Howell, cut through fencing at Jersey Central Power & Light substations to steal copper a total of seven times. The duo is accused of stealing grounding straps and Bare Bright No. 1 and No. 2 copper from sites in Neptune, Freehold, Howell and Colts Neck over a span of several months.
Officials say copper is often targeted by thieves because it is worth about $2.75 per pound, although the price typically fluctuates upward.
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Police say they were able to track and apprehend the suspects after they sold the copper. JCP&L puts special markings on its copper to stop this kind of theft.
Nowitzke is facing charges of receiving stolen property and theft by deception. She is being held on $33,000 bail at Monmouth County Jail.
Simons was charged with receiving stolen property. He was released on a summons.