Crime & Courts

Raleigh police: Man stole 7,000 pounds of copper from school-building site

Willie James Harrison
Willie James Harrison

Police say a man stole 7,000 pounds of copper wire and pipe from a Wake County school construction site and sold it to a recycler for less than 8 percent of what the materials cost contractors.

Willie James Harrison, 54, of 3127 Manhasset Lane in Raleigh is charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering, two counts of felony larceny and three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Arrests warrants that police obtained before Harrison’s arrest Friday night accuse him of taking the copper over the weekend of June 6-7 from the site where Abbotts Creek Elementary School is being built off Durant Road.

The $22.8 million school is scheduled to open this August.

Police put the total value of the stolen materials at $20,750 and said Harrison got $1,578.45 for them in three transactions at Raleigh Metals Recycling.

Among the stolen items listed in the arrest warrants were 700 feet of wire for high-voltage lighting, 60 feet of three-quarter-inch pipe and 20 250-foot rolls of No. 12 wire.

Harrison was held in lieu of $100,000 bail after a Monday court appearance.