ROCKINGHAM — A man is facing criminal charges, accused of stealing copper from a local business.
According to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, 45-year-old Jerry Neal Sweeney of Hamlet is responsible for cutting and stealing “a large amount” of copper wiring from a building on Airport Road in Hamlet.
Sweeney also allegedly sold 256 feet of copper wire to a local scrap yard.
Investigators have charged Sweeney with injury to property to obtain nonferrous metals, felony larceny and obtaining property by false pretenses.
He was arrested May 16 and booked into the Richmond County Jail on a $10,000 secured bond. Sweeney is scheduled to appear in court June 1.
Records with the N.C. Department of Adult Correction show Sweeney was convicted in Stanly County on two counts of injury to property to obtain nonferrous metals in 2021. He was initially given probation, which was revoked in August of 2022 in Richmond County, leading to three months behind bars.
Sweeney was first convicted in late 2007 of misdemeanor larceny and unauthorized use of motor conveyance. His probation was revoked in July the following year and he was incarcerated for one month.
He was also given probation in 2009 on a conviction of driving while impaired. That too was revoked 13 months later when he was convicted of driving while license revoked. Again, he served one month.
In 2019, records show Sweeney was convicted of felony larceny. His probation was revoked four months later and he spent more than five months behind bars, then went back on a three-month reimprison violation.
All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.