UPDATED 10 p.m. Friday
CHAMPAIGN — Three people have been arrested in connection with theft of copper and criminal damage at various homes and businesses in Champaign County.
According to a police report, Champaign and Urbana police and Champaign County sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant in the 500 block of West Beardsley Avenue, Champaign, on Friday as part of an investigation of the recent thefts.
Police arrested Verles D. Bolton, 46, of Champaign and Krystal L. Malone, 27, of Champaign for criminal damage to property.
Later on Friday police arrested Kendall T. Andrews, 33, of Champaign, in Urbana for criminal damage to property.
Champaign police Lt. Robert Rea said investigators suspect this group is responsible for numerous incidents of theft and criminal damage in the area.
He said police believe the group has been stealing copper and other valuable metals and then selling the materials to area salvage companies.
Rea said the group is believed to be responsible for thefts and damage to property in excess of $100,000 over the last six months.
Police are continuing the investigation, and Rea said police are looking for additional suspects.
Persons with information about the incidents area asked to call the Champaign Police Department at (217) 351-4545 remain anonymous by calling Champaign County Crimestoppers at (217) 373-8477 (TIPS).
Information may also be provided via internet at http://www.373tips.comor text information anonymously by texting CCTIP plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).
Bolton is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 29 in connection with the theft of an estimated $11,000 worth of copper and brass fittings from a construction site at Prairie Elementary School in 2012.