Four people are facing charges related to the tampering of utilities and theft of copper wiring in Pike County.

Four people are facing charges related to the tampering of utilities and theft of copper wiring in Pike County.

On the night of Aug. 2, a Pike County Sheriff’s Office Detective was patrolling and checking on cell phone towers in Pike County. In the previous week three towers had there power lines cut and stolen for the copper, according to Sheriff Stephen Korte. The detective was traveling south bound on U.S. 61 when he observed the lights go out on a tower on Pike 300, north of Eolia.

He pulled in and heard someone running through the corn field. A vehicle then went speeding by. That vehicle was stopped. Additional deputies and a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper responded to the area.

The investigation resulted in four individuals being arrested and charged. This group is also suspect in similar thefts in at least nine counties in Missouri and thefts in Illinois. Charged are the following:

• Christina D. Weaver, 39 of Roxana, Ill., class E felony of hindering prosecution for the crime of first-degree tampering . Bond was set at $25,000 cash only.

• Haley S. Suhling, 20, of Batchtown, Ill., class D felony of first-degree tampering and Class E felony of first-degree trespassing. Bond was set at $25,000 cash only. At the time of arrest Suhling had an active warrant for her arrest out of Washington County, Ill., for failure to appear on stealing copper.

• Taylor D. James, 19, of Litchfield, Ill., class D felony of first-degree tampering and Class E felony of first-degree trespassing. Bond was set at $25,000 cash only.

• Wendell D Ragsdale, 44, of Springfield, Ill., class D felony of first-degree tampering and Class E felony of first-degree trespassing. Bond was set at $25,000 cash only.

As this investigation continues Sheriff Korte anticipates that there will be additional charges filed not only in Pike County but in other jurisdictions as well.