Orangeburg deputies arrest man for copper theft in Neeses and Norway

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office has charged a Cordova man with damaging at least five irrigation systems in the western area of the county.

Christopher Baughman, 24, was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with three counts of malicious injury to personal property worth more than $2,000 and two counts of malicious injury to personal property worth less than $2,000.

According to Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Richard Walker, the initial theft and damage was discovered August 15 when a Neeses land owner reported all wiring missing from his systems that rang up to more than $2,200 in labor and repair costs.

Over the next few days, more property owners notified the sheriff's office of damage to their systems in the Neeses and Norway areas, Walker said.  A second Neeses property owner reported $2,500 in damages while Carolina Fresh Farms near Norway had another $3,000 in damages. A Cope property owner then reported $2,000 in damages and on Saturday another Neeses owner's property sustained $1,000 in damages.

During the bond hearing, the Orangeburg County Magistrate Peggy Doremus ordered Baughman not to trespass on any of the victims' properties.

Officials say, one property owner told the court it was "aggravating" to go to work only to find damage to his irrigation system.

Baughman's bond was set on Thursday morning at $20,000 for all five charges.

Investigators are continuing to investigate.

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