Posted on May 23, 2012 at 7:18 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Police say it's one of the biggest arrests they have made in a long time.
Roy Robert Russell of Florida has been placed under arrest for allegedly stealing more than 3,000 feet of copper from San Antonio retail stores and being in charge of a copper theft ring.
Detective Alejandro Martinez said Russell disguised himself as an air-condition technician and infiltrated stores like Walmart. Russell allegedly convinced employees he was there to work on air conditioning units and then take copper drainage pipes from the units.
Police suspect Russell had been doing this since he arrived in San Antonio July of 2011.
"This guy is a smooth talker and he is able to talk his way up to the roofs by giving them information that the Walmarts and only the other stores would know," said Martinez. "He is using their jargon, and by using that he is making the people believe he is there on legitimate business, and he is actually going up there to steal their copper."
In addition, police suspect Russell had two others working for him and believe he and his crew have targeted stores on the south side of town.
Russell is said to have taken about $35,000 worth of copper, which makes his charges a federal offense.