The owner of a vacant house in south Augusta decided not to press charges Sunday against a man who was caught by a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy stealing copper wiring and tubing from the property.
She said that instead, she wanted to pray for the man, a childhood friend of her son, according to a police report.
Rosa Mae Jones, 76, reported loud banging about 10:25 a.m. Sunday inside the vacant house she owns in the 2000 block of Leona Street.
A deputy found the rear door ajar, then found the suspect in the middle room of the house holding several feet of copper wire and tubing, according to the report. A hammer and cutting shears were on the floor, and damage to the drywall and a nearby power receptacle was visible.
The man said he was “scrapping” and “didn’t think it was illegal because all the vacant homes were being bought by the county and they were going to just knock them down,” Officer Todd Beasley wrote in his report. Beasley seized the tools as evidence.