Monday, July 09, 2007

To Catch A Thief: Borris Miles Shoots Copper Thief

Yesterday evening, State Rep Borris Miles (D-Houston) shot and wounded a man who was attempting to steal copper wiring from a house that Miles is having built near the medical complex in south central Houston.

Two men were caught in the act of removing the copper wire from outside Miles’ house while Miles was inside attempting to patch a water leak caused by a previous copper filching operation. Upon being challenged by Miles, one of the two thieves threw a small knife at Miles. Miles then drew a 9 mm pistol that he carries, he has a concealed weapon permit, and fired one round into the assailant’s left leg.

The wounded thief is currently under arrest at Ben Taub Hospital. His accomplice got away on foot and has not been identified.

Copper, along with aluminum and bronze, is highly prized among thieves right now due to the high resale price. Copper, at the moment, brings up to 5 dollars per pound, in part due to a 2 week long strike at the Coldeco copper mine in Chile. Coldeco is the world’s largest supplier of copper. Recent strikes have driven up the price of copper to such an extent that it is being stolen in epidemic proportions.

Ironically, last May Miles was one of 142 state reps that voted for HB 1766. Authored this past February by Aaron Peña, this was a bill that increased the penalty for those convicted of stealing copper, aluminum and bronze if the value of the stolen metal is less than $20,000, making it a mandatory jail felony. The bill, signed into law on June 15th doesn’t take effect until September 1st.

The wounded thief was charged with aggravated burglary.

Miles was not hurt in the incident.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(you don't have to print this, but I thought I'd pass it on)

Hurray for Rep. Miles!

Many moons ago in San Antonio when copper had taken another increase in price and copper was disappearing all over the place, two copper thieves got a big surprize when they ninja'd to the roof of the old abandoned passenger train station. Seems they literally stumbled across the environmentally mummified body of the last thief who attempted to strip the copper from the ceiling structures and who died trying to haul more than he could carry. That death had happened during the last price increase before those guys.

As it happened, the older man was the uncle of the other man. The uncle was so frightened that he started having chest pains so badly he was afraid to run. The nephew just ran and ran and ran until he found the San Fernando Cathedral which was open. When the priest calmed him down and discovered what had happened, he phoned the ambulance for the uncle who had to call the fire department to get him off the roof. The coroner's office got the mummy off later. They felt so sorry for the uncle that charges were not pressed by the city.