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Thief arrested after asking if ton of stolen copper is a felony

By Mason White 11:43 AM August 26, 2013
Raymond Clifton 

By: Debbie Gross
A foolish thief was busted after asking if a ton of stolen copper could land him a felony charge, according to police reports in Florida.

Volusia County police investigators said that they located a copper thief on Thursday after he asked employees of a scrap metal company if one ton of stolen material was a misdemeanor or a felony.

Raymond Clifton, 31, of DeLeon Springs is accused of allegedly stealing nearly a ton of copper from the electrical company he worked at and then trying to sell it to a junkyard in DeLand, Brandon Haught, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office of Volusia County, said.

“Workers at the junkyard thought it seemed strange when Clifton mentioned a recent story about a person who had been arrested for selling stolen copper and then asking if the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony offense,” Haught said.

Over a period of two months from June, Clifton sold large amounts of copper, between 55 and 300 pounds at a time, on 17 different occasions. He netted about $5,300 according to a police report.

Police asked Clifton’s employer to check their inventory of copper and discovered that 1,900 pounds had disappeared.
“The owner also told investigators that Clifton was an unreliable employee who had a pill problem,” Haught said.

Clifton was charged with dealing in stolen property and booked into the Volusia County Jail on $10,000 bond.