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Couple held in copper thefts

Photo by Shawn Wheat

Photo by Shawn Wheat

A chatty Lawrenceville couple accused of thieving copper from an electrical company saw their charges bound to Gwinnett Superior Court in a hearing this week.

Joyce Kearns and her boyfriend, Jimmy Cline, are charged with felony theft by taking for allegedly stealing eight or so temporary power poles, valued at $300 each, from Collins Electric in Lawrenceville. Inquisitive employees searching for the stolen, copper-rich equipment didn't have to look far: Kearns' mother's yard is located behind the business, where one pole lay plainly in view, an officer testified.

Thieves covet copper for its resale value at scrap yards.

Lawrenceville Police found Cline already in jail on an unrelated Gwinnett police theft case. His bond was not discussed Tuesday.

Kearns had pleaded guilty to a formidable 68 counts of deposit account fraud between 1984 and 2001 and has other pending cases, said Assistant District Attorney Marlene Zekser. Magistrate Judge Gene Cantrell denied her bond based on risk of committing future felonies.

A bailiff repeatedly warned the couple throughout the hearing to stop communicating with each other.