By Jason A. Smith
A Clayton County man was being held in the Henry County Jail, on $35,000 bond, for allegedly trying to break into a local Georgia Power facility.
Larry Jenkins, 54, of Riverdale, is charged with criminal attempt to commit burglary, and criminal attempt to enter an automobile. He appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Thursday, represented by the Public Defender's Office, and waived a preliminary hearing on the charges against him.
Judge Martin Jones bound Jenkins' charges over to Superior Court.
The alleged incident reportedly took place Tuesday, at the power company's substation on Rock Quarry Road, according to Henry County Police Capt. Jason Bolton.
"Around 10 p.m., Georgia Power employees arrived at [the substation] to discover a suspect inside the fenced area," Bolton said. The suspect "had cut the lock from the fence to gain entry, and when the employees arrived, he fled the scene in a truck, driving through the fence to escape," he said.
Surveillance-video footage at the scene, Bolton added, revealed that the suspect was "acting suspiciously" around the substation and Georgia Power vehicles, before the employees arrived.
The case marks the second police investigation in recent months, centered on the substation. Henry Police are still searching for suspects who reportedly broke into the substation and stole $800 worth of copper wire from the facility on Jan. 25, Bolton said.
He added that there is "no indication" that the Jenkins case and the January incident are connected. Konswello Monroe, a spokesperson for Georgia Power, said officials believe suspects in both cases were seeking copper from the substation. She said the company "has seen an increase in arrests of individuals involved in these types of thefts from Georgia Power."
Monroe added that the company is taking measures to deter copper theft, and is cooperating with the police department's investigation.
"Copper theft is an ongoing concern for Georgia Power," she said. "We mark our wires so that it makes it easier to recover. We have begun replacing copper wire with steel-clad wire, which has little value in the scrap-metal market."