A 25-year-old New London man has now been charged with burglarizing a church damaged during a tornado this summer.
On August 7, the weather service said an EF-2 tornado with winds estimated at over 110 mph struck New London in Waupaca County just before 12:30 a.m., causing significant damage to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The church was in the process of rebuilding when they noticed the theft of copper wire on October 21. Authorities suspected the person responsible may return and installed a trail camera to capture any activity.
A week later the pastor called to report another theft of copper wire, estimated to be around 300 feet. In all, it was believed the suspect had taken been 280-350 feet of copper wire.
In addition to the theft of copper wire, the suspect is accused of taking one of two trail cameras belonging to the New London Police Department.
Police identified the suspect as Andrew Young based on footage from the other camera they had in place. According to court documents, Young was wearing a belt similar to the belt the suspect is seen wearing during the theft when he was first questioned by police.
Police say Young entered the church through a collapsed portion of the building by removing plywood from an opening.
According to the criminal complaint a search of Young's house turned up the missing trail camera which still had photos of the officer installing it in the church. Police said they also discovered a receipt to Young from a copper recycling facility.
Young is charged with burglary, possession of burglarious tools, and theft.
Young is free on bond and will return to court November 19.
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