LAUREL HILL — Three men are being held in the Scotland County jail for breaking into an abandoned plant, stealing thousands of dollars worth of copper and setting pallets on fire inside the building, according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.
Laurel Hill men Marston Patterson, 42, of 21660 Bunch Road and Phillip Miller, 40, of 9103 Cameron St., and Timothy Brigman, 43, of 9500 Gibson Road in Gibson, were all charged with felonious breaking and entering, larceny from buildings, conspiracy and burning certain buildings. Brigman received an additional charge of misdemeanor transporting more than 25 pounds of copper.
Miller and Brigman were each held under a $1 million secured bond.
Sheriff’s Capt. Jon Edwards, of the investigation division, said in a statement that the trio were arrested on McFarland Road Monday around 7 a.m. after they broke into an abandoned property of the former Westpoint Stevens Inc. plant on Airbase Road.
They were caught with a truck that had a bed filled to the brim with copper worth at least $4,000 that they stole from the plant. The men also set pallets on fire inside the building but Edwards said that he doesn’t have an estimated cost on how much damage was caused.
“This investigation is ongoing,” Edwards said in a statement, “and more arrests are expected and more charges for more incidents that have occurred over the past few months involving copper thefts.”
Edwards added that Patterson has “numerous pending felony charges for the same-type theft in multiple counties,” including Richmond. Miller also has pending unrelated charges from July 2013 when he stabbed a man in Laurel Hill.
Rachel McAuley can be reached at 910-276-2311, ext. 15. Follow her on Twitter @rachelmcauley1.