Cordova man charged in copper theft

Christopher Baughman, 24, 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.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC – 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, 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.

Bond was set on the Crosby Street man Thursday morning at $20,000 total for all five charges.

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

One property owner told the court it was “aggravating” to go to work only to find damage to his irrigation system.

The initial theft and damage was discovered Aug. 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.

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.

Baughman was arrested on Wednesday.

Inv. Riley Godwin is leading the ongoing investigation.

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