Police: $25K In Copper Has Been Stolen From Former Bethlehem Steel Headquarters

A man charged with six burglaries in Bethlehem’s Martin Tower told investigators he was only “exploring” the vacant building, but he was in fact stealing copper, police say.

Repeated thefts of copper from the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel led to the installation of video and audio recording devices throughout the 21-story building, court records state.

Investigators said those recordings show Erik Michael Hotton, 27, in the building stealing copper, according to an arrest affidavit.  Police say an estimated $25,000 worth of copper has been stolen over the past six weeks.

Hotton, of 927 Tilghman St. in Allentown, is charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.  He was sent to Lehigh County Prison under $75,000 bail.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-c-bethlehem-copper-thefts-martin-towners-20121127,0,760997.story