Wanted Copper Cowboy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 12:41pm

Man tries to steal power cables using car and lasso.

Sheriff's detectives in Charlotte County, Florida are looking for a man dubbed the "copper cowboy".

They say got his car stuck at a park Sunday while trying to pull copper wire from a restroom conduit.

Deputies were called to Sunrise Park in Port Charlotte and discovered a 1996 green Chevrolet Beretta stuck in sand with the hood, trunk and driver side door open.

Behind the car was a rope tied to three lengths of copper wiring near the back of restrooms.

According to a sheriff's report, it looked like the car had pulled the copper wire about 100 feet out of the pipe from the restroom's meter box.

"You're probably pulling 75-100 pounds. And it's not just dragging 75-100 pounds above ground, you're pulling it out of a piece of conduit and that's been jammed in there," said John Jackson of Charlotte County Parks and Recreation.

Charlotte County Parks and Recreation closed the park and Florida Power and Light crews arrived to cut off the power.

Detectives contacted the owner of the car and she said Thomas Eugene Eaton, 39, of Englewood, had been using her car since last Thursday.

Eaton's girlfriend, who was not identified, told detectives that Eaton called her early Sunday morning and said he got the car stuck in Port Charlotte.

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