Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 17-805

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • December 13, 2017
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813-247-8060

    Grand Theft of Batteries from Cellular Phone Towers And Disruption Of The 911

    Suspect sold the batteries at a metal recycling facility.
    • Monday
    • November 27, 2017
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Hillsborough County

    Arrested:


    William Jay Bingham
    DOB 8/8/1977
    409 York Dale Drive
    Ruskin, FL

    Charges:

    • Grand Theft  (8 counts)
    • Dealing in Stolen Property (7 counts)
    • False Verification of Ownership to a Metal Recycler (8 counts)
    • Interfering with Utilities - Theft of Copper or other Nonferrous Metals (6
      counts)
    • Burglary of a Structure. (4 counts)

     

    Victim:

    Verizon and T-Mobile
     

    Details:

    On November 27, 2017, William Bingham entered the secured cell phone tower area located at 9855 Lula St. in Gibsonton by putting the code into the locked perimeter fence. Once inside the gate, the defendant used a code to open a Verizon outbuilding. Bingham entered a secure building and removed 30 batteries that powered the Verizon cellular signal for that specific tower. This caused a brief interruption to the cellular network to include the 911 system. The batteries were valued at approximately $12,000 total. Bingham then sold the batteries at a metal recycling facility.

    On December 08, 2017, Bingham entered the secured cell phone tower area located at 1507 21st Av SE in Ruskin by putting the code into the locked perimeter fence. Once inside the gate, he entered a secured Verizon outbuilding. Once in the building, Bingham removed 30 Northstar batteries that powered the Verizon cellular signal for that specific tower. This caused a brief interruption to the cellular network to include the 911 system. The batteries were valued at approximately $12,000. Bingham then entered a T-Mobile outbuilding. Once inside, he removed 8 back up batteries valued at approximately $2000. Bingham then sold these batteries at a metal recycling yard.

    During a post Miranda interview, Bingham admitted to stealing the batteries and selling them at local metal recycling companies. He also admitted to stealing batteries at cell tower sites in the City of Tampa, Polk County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hernando County, Manatee County and Sarasota County.

    Additional charges are pending and detectives are closing in on other suspect(s) who they believe are involved. Bingham was arrested without incident and booked into the Orient Road Jail.

    The investigation continues.

  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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