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Officials say Athens teens, Tennessee duo stole copper

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — Two local teens hooked up with a Tennessee duo to allegedly steal copper wire from a railroad company, a Limestone investigator said.

Sheriff's Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said a foul smell helped authorities find the suspects. On Monday night, someone called the department to report an odorous burn pile on Holt Road. Deputies found spools of copper wire on the pile.

"The wire is covered in rubber, so they were burning it off to get to the copper and sell it," McNatt said.

On Tuesday, off Brownsferry Road, authorities located another burn pile and three suspects. Investigator Josh McLaughlin brought them in for questioning and picked up a fourth suspect.

"About that time, we also received information that CSX is doing work on a crossing on Elkton Road and had copper wire missing," McNatt said.

Authorities charged the four with second-degree receiving stolen property. Those charged are Patrick Litdel Bullock, 29, of Nashville; Ashley Diane Sullivan, 19, of Columbia, Tenn.; a 17-year-old Athens male and a 16-year-old Athens female. Sullivan also has a charge of carrying a pistol without a permit.

McNatt said the Tennessee pair "are like transients" and that they may have met the local teens at a hotel. He said the teens are not in school.

Further charges are pending.

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