COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs police have arrested a man they say had been stealing copper pipe, copper wire, and brass water flow regulators from new homes that were under construction throughout the city, specifically homes affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire.
Police say Charles Butcher stole $200,000 worth of metal.
CSPD says the thefts had been going on since the beginning of the year and that earlier this month, detectives found that the metal was being sold at local scrap yards by Butcher.
On April 12, two officers spotted Butcher in the Wolf Ranch housing area.
Over the next four days, police say Butcher burglarized seven homes that were under construction. Two of the them were in the Mountain Shadows burn area.
Police say on April 17, detectives from the Metal Theft Unit and the Sand Creek Division conducted surveillance on Butcher as he again burglarized two additional homes under construction in the Mountain Shadows burn area.
Officers followed him out of the area and pulled him over.
Butcher was taken into custody and later booked into CJC on numerous charges stemming from the investigation.
"People are at their worst and best in the worst of times," said Chris, a Mountain Shadows resident who opted not to give his last name.
His home didn't burn, but many of their neighbors' houses did. Chris said he's seen people trying to capitalize on their misfortune before.
"There were cars coming all the time. Sort of casing and looking for scraps and other things, so I'm not surprised," he said.