A New Tazewell, Tenn., man was arrested Friday for the alleged theft of over $12,000 in copper from a Middlesboro store.
The copper, stripped from electrical wiring, was to go into the renovation of Servolution Health Services, a faith-based medical and dental clinic that is to open in Speedwell, Tenn.
Todd Giles, 41, was arrested by Sgt. Wade Barnett of the Middlesboro Police Department following an investigation, led by Officer Petie Gilbert. According to police, Giles was suspected of charging several thousands dollars worth of new electrical wiring to Pump Springs Baptist Church in Harrogate, Tenn., for work on the Servolution Health Services building. The Servolution project is renovating the old Powell Valley Vocational Building to be used as a health and dental clinic for those with no insurance.
“Todd was a licensed electrician who volunteered to help us,” said Edwin Robertson, chairman of the Servolution Health Services board. “He had worked for five or six weeks on stripping the old electrical wiring out and getting it ready for new wiring.”
Robertson said Giles is suspected of picking up a copy of the church’s tax exempt certificate at the thrift store that currently is in the building.
“He purchased wiring on our behalf from State Electric in Middlesboro,” he added.
Giles allegedly took the copper from the wiring to a recycler in the area and sold it for around $3,750, Robertson estimated. A sting was set up on Aug. 3 to capture Giles, but he escaped and had been on the run until his arrest on Sept. 28, he said. On a tip, Sgt. Wade Barnett captured Giles and took him to the Bell County Detention Center, where he was charged with theft by deception including cold checks under $10,000 and theft by deception including cold checks under $500.
According to Gilbert, additional charged may be filed in Middlesboro and in Tennessee at a later date.