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updated: 11/27/2010 3:32 PM

Men charged in theft of copper wire

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Lake County officials said Saturday three Cook County men took more than $6,000 worth of copper wire from a Wauconda Township electric company by scamming the company employees.

Gregory John, 20, of Chicago, Gary Mitchell, 23, of Mount Prospect, and Walter Miller, 45, of Des Plaines, are all charged with burglary and theft in the Nov. 26 incident.

Assistant State's Attorney John Brown said the three men drove to Anderson Electric in the 29000 block of Goessel Road and told employees of the company the owner had told them to pick up the wire.

The trio went to a storage shed on the property and loaded the wire into their truck, Brown said, and left before the owner of the company arrived at the scene.

Police were called after the owner explained to his employees, one of whom had written down the license number of the truck, that he had not given anyone permission to take wire from the shed.

An alert for the truck was broadcast on statewide police radio, and Brown said Arlington Heights police stopped the vehicle a short time later and took all three men into custody.

Brown told Associate Judge Michael Betar that Miller, of the 1700 block of Webster Lane in Des Plaines, has multiple convictions for fraud-related crimes in other states.

Betar ordered Miller held on $50,000 bond while telling Mitchell, of the 500 block of Dempster Street in Mount Prospect, and John, of the 5000 block of Central Avenue in Chicago, their bonds would be $5,000 each.

All three face up to seven years in prison if convicted and are scheduled to appear in court again Dec. 16.