Overnight copper heist foiled by moonlighting police

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Three men were arrested and charged after an overnight heist where, police said, they tried to steal copper from a Fort Wayne recycling company.

According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, police saw a man open an overhead door to the Fort Wayne OmniSource on Taylor Street just before 2:00 a.m. Sunday.  Officers then witnessed a box truck back into the building.

Meanwhile, police said a Dodge Durango continued to drive past OmniSource.  The box truck was allegedly in the building for about 30 minutes before it drove off, followed by the Durango on Taylor Street.

Police then pulled both the box truck and the Durango over. Julian Norris and Rahman Pittman were said to be in the box truck.  The Durango was being driven by Hakeem Pittman.

Police reviewed surveillance footage and saw Rahman Pittman driving the box truck and using a forklift in OmniSource.  The video also showed Norris getting large copper material ready to be loaded into the box truck, according to the court documents.

“We had officers that are moonlighting for the company that suspected this was an operation that was larger than just your common petty theft,” said Michael Joyner with the Fort Wayne Police Department.  “Clearly the businesses are going to no longer tolerate it.  And they’re doing the right things to intercede and we’re willing to step up the best we can based on the resources we have available to us.”

Hakeem Pittman allegedly told police he expected to get $500 for being a lookout because that’s what he got in a previous job.

Police say Norris admitted to entering OmniSource under a fence. Norris told police he had been a part of three to six thefts from OmniSource and had made between $500 to $1,000 per job.

Rahman Pittman apparently admitted that he had worked for OmniSource for 10 years, and he was driving the box truck when it was stopped by police.

All three suspects have received felony charges related to burglary or theft.  It’s unclear the amount of copper they tried to get away with on Sunday, and exactly how much it was worth.

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