Cleveland man charged in copper pipe theft

By Valerie Urbanik -

Eric Townsend

Eric Townsend

After a fall filled with Oberlin copper pipe thefts, authorities have finally leveled charges — at least against one suspect.

Eric Townsend, 32, of Cleveland, has been charged in Elyria Municipal Court.

Lorain County sheriff’s deputies made the collar but Oberlin police chief Juan Torres said Townsend is behind just one of many copper thefts here.

“There’s at least 16 cases but the suspect is not being charged with all of them,” he said.

In late summer, Oberlin officers began receiving calls about break-ins at abandoned homes around town.

The first account the News-Tribune published of a copper pipe theft for the season came Aug. 5 on Morgan Street and reports continuously popped up until Nov. 7 when pipes were taken from a house on South Professor Street.

Torres told us each officer has a list of the abandoned houses in town and makes regular checks.

“All sworn and civilian members of the department contributed to the closure of these cases and should be commended,” he wrote in an email.

According to the Elyria Municipal Court record, Townsend must have no contact and stay 500 feet away from 38 Walnut St., Oberlin, and Butternut Recycling at 40346 Ridge Rd., Carlisle Township.

The latter address is linked to another receiving stolen property case in which Townsend is the suspect.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.

Eric Townsend Townsend

By Valerie Urbanik