MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 48-year-old Dennis Hardwick of Milwaukee and 49-year-old William Rogers of Milwaukee have been charged in connection with the theft of copper wire from Harley-Davidson’s Pilgrim Road Factory in Menomonee Falls.
Hardwick and Rogers each face one count of theft of movable property, greater than $10,000, as party to a crime.
A criminal complaint in the case says officials on October 7th met with security officials at the Harley facility, who notified them the facility was missing 46 spools of copper wire. Each contained approximately 300 pounds of the copper wire. Each spool was valued at $1,410.
The security officers told officials they noticed the spools missing on September 18th when they noticed two spools of 16.5 gage copper wire was missing. The security officers were able to confirm that the spools were there on September 11th, but were missing on the 18th.
When the two officials checked their inventory, they discovered the following:
- 13 gage copper wire short 2,981.07 pounds (taken between August 15th and September 27th)
- 13.5 gage copper wire short by 379.2 pounds (taken between August 15th and August 20th)
- 14.5 gage copper wire missing in the amount of 3,876.77 pounds (taken between August 22nd and September 27th)
- 16 gage copper wire short by 281 pounds (taken between August 16th and August 27th)
- Two spools of 13.5 gage copper wire reported missing between September 27th and October 1st taken over the weekend.
The security officers began to more closely monitor the wire, and noticed three full spools of 13 gage copper wire went missing on October 6th, along with two full spools of 14.5 gage wiring.
The total value of missing copper from October 6th is $7,050.
According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video showed David Tucker propping open a door leading to the Harley-Davidson plant. A second suspect, identified as William Rogers entered the facility from outside, along with a third individual, identified as Dennis Hardwick. Hardwick was seen pushing a furniture dolly — according to the complaint.
The video shows an item on the furniture dolly that appears to be the same size as the stolen copper wire spools. Black plastic was seen covering the suspected spool.
The video shows the individuals entering and leaving once more, with a second dolly full of material, according to the complaint.
According to the criminal complaint, Rogers and Tucker work at the Harley-Davidson facility, and are employees of Veolia.
The complaint indicates a security officer had heard from project managers that some projects were not able to be completed due to a lack of copper wire. That’s when he became suspicious, and asked his security officers to do more thorough inventories of the copper wire at the facility, according to the complaint.
The security officer was able to determine that the cooper wire thefts were occurring on Sunday mornings.
When speaking with Rogers, he admitted to officials that he got the idea to seal copper wire from Harley to make extra money — and had contracted Hardwick for help, according to the complaint.
Rogers told officials he had taken five rolls of copper wire on five different occasions — for a total of 25 rolls, according to the complaint.
Rogers said he and Hardwick would then sell the copper to National Salvage — and told officials he used the money to buy crack cocaine — according to the complaint.
When officials looked into the men’s dealings with National Salvage, they discovered four transactions in Hardwick’s name, according to the complaint:
- September 23rd — 563 pounds of copper
- September 23rd — 802 pounds of copper
- September 30th — 558 pounds of copper
- October 7th — 542 pounds of copper
- October 7th — 799 pounds of copper
Hardwick told officials he only helped Rogers once, and did not receive any money for it, according to the complaint.
The complaint indicates Tucker was involved because he opened the doors for the two when they were not working and needed access to the facility. The complaint says Rogers told Tucker he needed to use the restroom.