Accused burglars strip business of thousands of dollars worth of copper in Temple Terrace

Edward Hudson and Timothy Sutton.

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) — Patience led to payoff for a local business after two men were arrested and accused of stealing a large amount of copper.

Temple Terrace police say 34-year-old Timothy Sutton Jr. of Lakeland and 39-year-old Edward Hudson of Tampa are responsible for burglarizing Fortune Plastic and Metal on Maislin Drive Friday.

“We pay crazy money for the material that was stolen,” said Sales Manager Bobby Napier.

Napier said the men were stealing from the business all week during the night. He tells us employees were aware of the thefts and wanted to wait until the right moment to report it to police.

“We been basically watching them on camera knowing they been doing it and really setting them up, waiting for the right time to call the police,” said Operations Manager Chad Sink.

Temple Terrace police responded shortly after 11:30 p.m. Friday and saw the men jump a fence and run from the scene.

Police unleashed a K9 officer to track the men on the ground and received help from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter in the air.

The men were arrested a short time later.

In a week’s time employees said the men stole at least $10,000 worth of copper.

“They’re stealing money out of the company’s pocket, which is taking money out of our pocket,” Napier said.

The company has gotten back roughly $1,000 worth of copper, Napier said, but they aren’t sure if they’ll ever get back all of what was lost.

“This is not the first time. We have always caught them,” Napier said.

Both suspects were charged with burglary and grand theft.

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