Court: Copper thief rents angle grinder to pull off crime

A ROBINA man who was caught by police stealing copper piping at South Tweed Heads told officers he rented an angle grinder to help him "do the job".

About 9.20 am on August 2, 2011, Tweed Heads police were called by a witness who saw Timothy Herman and Benjamin Hall crawling through a fence surrounding the then closed Tweed Heads Aquatic Club on Dry Dock Rd.

The witness provided officers with a key to the gate of the premises, which is currently being renovated so it can reopen.

Police entered the premises and found Herman and Hall had cut two lengths of two metre copper piping from the walls of the building.

When confronted 23-year-old Herman told officers "We're really poor and need the money."

A search of Herman's backpack uncovered hammers, a hacksaw, pliers, wire cutters, a screw driver and multi-grips.

The pair were arrested and taken to Tweed heads police station where they were charged with aggravated enter dwelling with intent, enter building with intent to commit indictable offence and larceny.

Yesterday at Lismore Local Court Magistrate David Heilpern asked Herman if it was really worth hiring an angle grinder and breaking into a premises to steal copper.

"I can get money for it at the scrap metal yard," Herman replied.

"$6 a kilo."

Mr Heilpern placed Herman on a two year good behaviour bond.

Hall, who is in custody in Queensland on other matters, is yet to be sentenced.



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