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      SC copper theft investigation results in 3 arrests

      BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A two-year investigation into copper thefts has resulted in the arrests of three Bennettsville men, including one who formerly worked as a lineman at the electric cooperative where the copper was stolen.

      The Morning News of Florence reported (http://bit.ly/1kJCuTV) all three men are charged with criminal conspiracy. Two also were charged with malicious damage to an electrical utility system.

      Authorities say the conspiracy charge is related mainly to copper thefts from the Marlboro Electric Cooperative over a period of several years, with the men selling the copper to local salvage yards.

      Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight says he believes the investigation will continue and result in more arrests.

      The three men were released on bond.