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Police arrest suspected Waldo Canyon looter using homing device

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Charles Butcher (Photo Colorado Springs Police Department)

Charles Butcher (Photo Colorado Springs Police Department)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police utilized a homing device to track a man accused of stealing over $200,000 in metal from homes under construction in the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Charles Dean Butcher was arrested last week in connection with thefts that took place in the Mountain Shadows area, one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Police were initially drawn to Butcher after he sold more than $4,600 worth of brass and copper to Western Scrap Processing over a three-month period from February to April. After securing a warrant from a district judge, police attached a homing device to Butcher’s vehicle as it sat in his driveway on April 12.

Investigators found Butcher was in neighborhoods with homes under construction multiple times over the course of a three-day period. He also made another trip to Western Scrap Processing during that time.

Police then visited the homes in the areas Butcher had been spotted, and found residences in all of those areas had been burglarized. The homes were all missing metal that matched the variety Butcher later sold to the scrap plant.

According to an arrest affidavit, Butcher gave no explanation when questioned about his actions, other than to say he found some of the metal that he later sold to the scrap plant.

Butcher has been charged with criminal mischief and burglary and is being held on $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Thursday.

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