Contractor charged in Palmetto Bluff copper thefts

rlurye@islandpacket.comDecember 31, 2013 

A private contractor was arrested Monday, accused of stealing copper light fixtures from the Bluffton gated community where he worked, according to a news release.

Zachary Perryman, 19, of Hardeeville was charged with 10 counts of theft, including two felony charges, after he allegedly stole about $15,000 worth of outdoor lights from yards in Palmetto Bluff, a Bluffton Police Department news release said.

Perryman is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center, with bond set at $77,000.

Police worked with the community's security officers over the past month, the release said, investigating thefts from Pettigrew Plantation Road, Gilded Street, Sunfire Drive, Old Palmetto Bluff Road, Nottingham Road and Trout Hole Road.

During the investigation, police discovered Perryman had sold some of the missing items to a scrap metal yard, according to Lt. Joe Babkiewicz.

When the contractor entered Palmetto Bluff for work Monday, security officers searched his vehicle and found some copper metal sheeting that he had allegedly taken that morning, Babkiewicz said.

While some of the light fixtures have been recovered, Babkiewicz said he didn't know whether they still work.

Perryman was not a Palmetto Bluff employee, according to a community spokesman.

Anyone with information about the thefts can contact Detective Michelle Mayers at 843-706-4554 or Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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