CHARLESTON, MO (KFVS) - A Mississippi County man and his son are accused of stealing metal from area farms. Now a third man faces charges.
John Auther Hayes, 23, of Scott City was charged with burglary 2nd degree, two counts of property damage 1st degree and two counts of felony stealing (value of property greater than $500).
His bond is set at $100,000.
Mississippi County investigators say Jesse Bowers reportedly climbed into the attic of one home on State Highway C, and then cut out the electrical wiring. Fred Bowers and John Hayes would then rip the wiring from the wall and carry it out to their truck, according to the investigators.
Fred J. Bowers, Jr. and his son, Jesse Allen Bowers. now face additional charges of burglary 2nd degree, two counts each of property damage 1st degree and felony stealing of property valued at more than $500.
Bonds for the two men were set at $150,000 each.
Forty-five year-old Fred J. Bowers, Jr. and 19-year-old Jesse Allen Bowers, both of New Madrid County, were charged with felony property damage and two counts of felony theft/stealing.
They were booked into the Mississippi County Detention Center.
According to the sheriff's office, the investigation began when an officer was approached by a farmer who reported batteries and wire stolen from several pivots in rural Mississippi County.
During the course of the investigation, the sheriff's office learned the Bowers' had delivered a substantial amount of copper and tin to separate vendors. After reviewing images of the items delivered to the recycling centers, it was determined by the sheriff's office that the Bowers' were possibly responsible for the thefts.
According to the sheriff's office, Jesse Bowers told sheriff's deputies during questioning that he and his father had stolen wire from several pivots in both Mississippi and New Madrid Counties.
He also told officers that after each theft they would hide the metal in wooded area near their home and sell the items to local recycling centers in smaller quantities to avoid detection.
According to the sheriff's office, Jesse Bowers also implicated himself and his father in a rural Mississippi County burglary. Bowers offered to show Sheriff Keith Moore and Chief Deputy Marcum each pivot and house from where the metal was taken.
"These guys caused $3,500 in damage to every pivot they touched, and while their profit was small, it came at great expense to the local farmers," said Sheriff Moore.