One arrested in connection to copper theft from elementary school


CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A woman has been arrested in connection to a copper theft from an elementary school.

According to the criminal complaint, it happened in the early morning hours on Sunday, October 18.

The Chesapeake Police Department says Chesapeake Elementary School was broken into through a crawl space by two people. This crawl space leads to a boiler room. All of the water valves were turned off. Police say the two individuals carried multiple tools under the school in order to cut and remove copper water pipe.

A school maintenance man came into work around 4:30 a.m. and police say he possibly scared the suspects and they left. However, the suspects left behind several items including clothing, tools, backpacks, soda pop cans, cigarette butts, and needles with suspected heroin inside. Inside one of the backpacks, police say they found a receipt from Arby’s in Quincy on October 18.

Police say they determined that about 80 to 90 feet of water line was cut out and taken from under the school.

The cost to repair this is upwards of several thousand dollars.

The evidence was then turned over to the West Virginia State Police Crime Lab.

Investigators then got video footage from the school and determined a man and a woman were the suspects.

After police got footage from Arby’s, they positively identified Jessica Barker as the woman who came into the school.

Chesapeake Police say Barker came into the police department and told them that her and a man conspired together the night of the incident to steal copper water pipes from the school. She told police the man wanted her to help him make some money.

Barker, 31, is charged with breaking and entering, destruction of property, grand larceny and conspiracy.

No other arrests have been made.

Keep checking the WSAZ App for the latest information.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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