Man arrested on copper theft charges

WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County law enforcement officials arrested a Stanley man on Monday who has been accused of stealing $1,400 worth of copper billets from his job.

Phillip Hyre, 27, has been charged with grand larceny and two counts of larceny with intent to sell after he allegedly stole the copper billets from Howell Metal between April 27 and May 10, the criminal complaint states. He is also accused of conspiring with someone else to sell the copper to a recycling plant. Several stolen items from Howell Metal were recovered from two recycling companies: one in Stanley and one in Harrisonburg.

Hyre was out on bond on felony charges from a prior copper theft incident when the more recent alleged thefts occurred. On Jan. 21, a separate criminal complaint states that Hyre stole $2,000 worth of copper wire and sold it to a recycling company the same day. He was charged with grand larceny and larceny with intent to sell, and was released on a $3,000 secured bond on the same day as his January 30 arrest.

He was also charged in 2010 with petit larceny and four counts of grand larceny, but all of those charges were dismissed in 2011.

Hyre is being held without bond in Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail. His next hearing on the recent larceny charges will be on Friday in Shenandoah General District Court. He is required to be drug-screened before the hearing. The next hearing on the January charges will be on June 6 in the same court.