Couple accused of stealing from utility company during Hurricane Michael recovery work

Northwest Florida
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GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A couple claiming to help “clean up” the community was actually stealing copper wire from a utility company trying to restore power to their neighbors, according to the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office.

On Sunday, deputies were dispatched to a theft call on Gaskin Side Camp Road. A Gulf Coast Electrical Co-op shift supervisor told deputies there were two subjects in a blue Chevrolet pick-up truck gathering his company’s electrical copper wires off the side of the road.

When deputies drove further down Gaskin Road they spotted the man and woman, later identified as Randy and Melinda Kent, placing the copper wire in the bed of the truck.

Randy Kent told deputies the two were, “cleaning up the area for the community,” officials wrote in a news release.

In the bed of the truck were approximately two hundred pounds of clean copper wire and no other materials. Kent then told authorities an unknown electrical worker gave him permission to take the copper wires.

Randy and Melinda Kent were both arrested, charged with grand theft and transported to the Gulf County Jail.

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