WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) - A thief targeting cell towers in Macomb County was stealing the huge batteries that keep them running. But his crimes, which began in July, were caught on camera and the sheriff's department is now hot on his trail.
"It's actually the perfect theft if you're someone looking for easy money," says Det. James Wolfe of the Warren Police Department.
The perfect theft, ripping off batteries in cell phone towers - about 6,000 to 7,000 pounds of them. A man in his late 20s can be seen on security camera video pulling his gold GMC to cell phone towers.
On camera, he knows the combination to the gate. He knows how to disengage the alarm, and he knows where the cell tower batteries are.
Because if you’re affiliated with this business or you don't work for them anymore," Wolfe says "But you know how to access these sites, recycling centers will take these batteries because of the precious metal inside."
And the whole crime doesn't take long as he speeds away on camera in his GMC Envoy. According to police, the batteries are worth about $248 each, but he only got about $.19 a pound at a Pontiac recycling facility.
He could be charged with two felonies for larceny which could land him in prison for up to five years. And the cops are looking for this guy now, but he almost got away with it. Thanks to the security camera at a neighboring business, police have video evidence.
Cops also believe that he may be responsible for other cell tower battery heists in Macomb County.
Wolfe said the video system allowed a clear view of the suspect's license plate number.