When 23-year-old Jarrod Briggs returned to a Deland recycling center for the sixth time in two weeks to sell a major load of wire, the business decided it was time to alert the authorities.
Starting on Sept. 11, Briggs brought pickup truck loads to the recycling business ranging in weight from 338 pounds on Sept. 11 to 1,372 pounds on Monday. The last load, on Tuesday, tipped the scales at 1,251 pounds. All combined the loads totaled 6,179 pounds and fetched about $3,770 for Briggs. The Deland-based recycling center notified the Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday about the suspicious transactions.
As part of the investigation the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office checked with Duke Energy and showed them pictures of the scrapped wire. Officials there instantly recognized it as a commercial-grade wire used for power poles. And they said they were the only power company in the area that used that specific type of wire. When company officials checked a substation in Deland, they discovered that several thousand pounds of the wire were missing. The power company had stacked up the leftover wire and was planning to sell it themselves for its scrap value.
During questioning, Briggs claimed he was scrapping the wire for a friend who had supposedly collected it up for sale, but said he couldn’t sell it himself because his wallet and identification had been stolen and therefore he wouldn’t be able to provide proof of identification at the recycling center as required by law. Briggs claimed his friend gave him $50 for each transaction. Deputies are checking into his story as the investigation continues.
Briggs (DOB: 7/15/90) was arrested Thursday on nine criminal charges -- six counts of dealing in stolen property and three counts of violating Florida’s secondary metals recyclers law by falsely claiming that he owned the wire. All nine charges are felony offenses.