First of three copper ring suspects accused of causing $45,000 in damage arrested

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - The first of three suspects accused of running a copper theft ring turned herself in Monday morning.

A complaint alleges the three suspects would steal copper from telephone wires. They would then take that stolen wire to Stinky's to sell for a profit.

The complaint states the first report was made on July 13.

A Frontier Communications technician noticed 200 feet of 200 pair telephone cable was missing from a site in Van Alstyne.

"Basically they're going after the value of those copper items," said Capt. Sarah Bigham of the Grayson County Sheriff's Office.

The technician reported more thefts in the coming days.

But it wasn't until July 26 that a confidential source tipped off investigators that two people-- Steven Dodson and Andrew Atkins-- were the ones stealing the wires.

They went to search Atkins' home-- where Dana Northcutt lives.

"She had involvement in planning and execution," Bigham said.

Investigators found burnt copper marks on the ground near Northcutt and Atkins' residence. A third roommate told them Atkins and Dodson would go out and steal copper and have Northcutt sell it to Stinky's Scrap Metal.

Monica Bagwell works at Sherman Recycling, a scrap metal company. She said her business follows state guidelines and tries to be sure the metals they buy aren't stolen.

"We look to see if it's a contractor or reputable business that should have it," Bagwell said. "Nobody should be walking around with 500 pounds of copper that doesn't have a way to get it here."

All together, the three allegedly got away with $4,000 worth of copper, and left nearly $45,000 of damage behind.

All three were listed on Grayson County's top ten most wanted list. Dodson and Atkins are still on the run.

Northcutt bonded out of jail Monday morning. Anybody with info is asked to call the sheriff's office.

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