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Police seek man accused of stealing copper in Martinsburg area

Warrants charging Claude Joseph Hartman Jr., aka "CJ," with four counts of grand larceny have been issued

September 06, 2011
  • Hartman
Hartman

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Police are looking for a 22-year-old man who is accused of stealing copper air conditioner coils and other items from  several locations, including Martinsburg Little League at Oatesdale Park.

Warrants charging Claude Joseph Hartman Jr., aka "CJ," with four counts of grand larceny have been issued by Berkeley County Magistrate Jim Humphrey, Martinsburg Police Lt. G.B. Swartwood said in a news release Tuesday.

Hartman was identified from surveillance video and photographs, police said.

The alleged thefts in the park at 130 Tavern Road happened on Aug. 16 and last Thursday, police said.

The thefts at Ebenezer Baptist Church at 615 W. Martin St., and the business office at 490 Williamsport Pike, also happened on Thursday, police said.

Air conditioner coils have increasingly become a target for theft as the price of copper and other metals has increased, according to area law enforcement agencies. A heat pump or air-conditioning unit that costs $3,000 to $5,000 is being chopped into pieces, and the copper is being sold for scrap to net $100 to $300, police have said.

Anyone with information concerning Hartman's whereabouts can contact the Martinsburg Police Department at 304-264-2100.

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