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Muddy, Wet Man Caught at Scene of Vandalized Abandoned Homes

Drywall had been ripped out and insulation removed in an apparent attempt to gain access to copper wiring.

Muddy, Wet Man Caught at Scene of Vandalized Abandoned Homes

A Gwinnett County man is facing multiple charges after being caught at the scene of what appeared to be an attempted metal theft on West Rock Quarry Road in Buford.

On the morning of Jan. 17, an officer was dispatched to an abandoned residence in the 2500 block of West Rock Quarry Road in response to a report of a suspicious vehicle. The officer found William Anderson, 42, of Lawrenceville, at the scene next to a Chevrolet Silverado that was stuck in the mud.

When asked what he was doing, Anderson said he and a friend were “out looking for deer.” Anderson had a rifle in his truck, but no ammunition. Also, in plain view in the bed of the truck, Anderson had an open tool box with a pair of bolt cutters. The officer noted there was cut wire that had been used to keep anyone from entering the driveway of the abandoned home.

“William was muddy, and wet and was attempting to wench his truck out of the mud it was stuck in,” the officer wrote in the report.

While another officer stayed with Anderson, the officer checked the abandoned house and discovered the drywall had been ripped out and the insulation removed in an attempt to gain access to the wiring in the house. The wiring, however, was not copper, which is a common target of metal theives.

“There was another house nearby that was in the same state of affairs as the first house,” the report stated. Both abandoned houses are owned by Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Two detectives in the Gwinnett County Police Department’s metal thefts unit responded to the scene and, after looking inside the homes, instructed the officer to place Anderson under arrest.

During a post-arrest search, the officer found that Anderson had a flashlight, pair of pliers and a screwdriver on his person. He was taken to Gwinnett County Police headquarters for an interview and was subsequently booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of loitering and prowling and interference with government property. He was released the following day on a $12,500 bond.

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