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WACO

Police arrest stolen boat batteries suspect

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ANTHONY RICHARDS ANTHONY RICHARDS
WACO -

Police have arrested a man accused of stealing several batteries that were sold for scrap in early February. Anthony Richards was taken into custody Monday after police obtained a warrant for his arrest.

The incident occurred on February 7 when an off-duty Waco police officer discovered several stolen batteries that been sold for scrap that morning.

The officer was working security at Lipsitz Recycling on Elm Street, and became suspicious when an individual brought in several new and used marine batteries to sell. Some of the batteries still had the cables attached from where they had been cut.

Waco police began investigating where the thefts might have occurred. Officers believe the batteries had been stolen overnight from Yowell's Boat Yard, on the 3500 block of Franklin Avenue.

Nine batteries from three boats, a car and a RV camper had been stolen. Waco Police  Sgt. Patrick Swanton said the suspect didn't get nearly what the property was worth.

"We typically don't get brand new marine type batteries brought in and sold for scraps, because you're getting just pennies on the dollar. He ended up taking nearly a thousand dollars worth of batteries and sold them for just over one-hundred dollars."   

Lipsitz Operational Manager Charles Johnson said they keep a uniformed officer there six days a week to try and discourage people from bringing in stolen property.

In order to sell something at Lipsitz , the business takes a picture of the items, the seller's photo I.D., their license plate and their thumb print. They then send that information to the Texas Department of Public Safety database and a city database Leeds Online. The information is collected so that police can find the criminals suspected of stealing and selling scrap metal.

"Unfortunately this isn't unusual. It's a problem not just locally but nationally since the value of metal has increased over the last 10- 12 years."

Lipsitz returned the stolen batteries to Yowell's but now they have to cover the cost of damage done to the boats.

"They busted the buckles on the batteries and snipping some of the wires, so with that you have the cost of replacing the batteries and also going back through and rewiring the batteries," said Johnson.

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