Cumberland County business owner chases down copper thief

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Enola, Pa. (WHTM) – A Cumberland County business owner made sure a copper thief didn’t make a clean getaway.

Mac McArthur and his family have owned the Olympic Skating Center in Enola since 1981. He said they had not experienced any major problems over the years.

But things got scary on Good Friday.

McArthur said he heard a loud noise outside the business, and thought it was his friend changing the filters on the heating and cooling systems. McArthur then called his friend and found out he was not working on the units, so McArthur went outside and saw a man stripping copper and aluminum from his systems.

“I yelled, ‘What are you doing?,'” recalled McArthur. “He jumped down and ran past me and I tripped him up.”

McArthur said the man stumbled and kept running as McArthur chased after him. He finally caught the guy at a nearby parking lot and they started to fight.

“Every time he got up, I would kick his feet out from under him,” said McArthur, “I just kept yelling ‘911, someone call for help,’ but there was nobody around.”

McArthur said the man kept grabbing for something in his back pocket and McArthur thought maybe he had a weapon.

“It turned out to be keys to get into his car, said McArthur. “When he got up and ran to his car, we continued to fight.”

McArthur said he backed off and the man got into his car and drove off. He said witnesses then got the license plate number, and East Pennsboro Township police identified 36-year-old Anthony Braxton as the suspect. McArthur said he picked Braxton out of a photo lineup.

Police said Braxton stole $300 worth of copper and aluminum from McArthur’s heating and cooling units, which will both need to be replaced at a cost of nearly $21,000.

Police said they expect Braxton to turn himself in by the end of the week. He is facing theft and criminal mischief charges.

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