Deputies: Brothers arrested are part of metal theft ring



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Investigators said they arrested two brothers involved in a metal-theft operation that targeted homes and businesses in Seminole and Volusia counties.

Brett Patterson said he lost $10,000 to copper theft in December.

"They're after copper. They're always after copper," said Patterson.

Patterson said that so far, January isn't shaping up to be any better than last month.

"It's not just the public getting hit, we're getting hit a lot," said Patterson.

Patterson, owner of American Auto Salvage in Seminole County, has been working with investigators from Seminole and Volusia counties to help track down a ring of metal thieves.

On Monday, Sheriff's Department investigators were at Patterson's business looking at a $1,600 spool of wire that they said was possibly stolen from the SunRail project.

Investigators said the metal theft operation that the brothers were involved in was stealing all types of metal, from wire to pipes.

"They've been at it for several years. We've had dealings with them, small and large," said Brandon Haught of the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Brothers David and Dwayne Matthews were arrested and charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property, investigators said.

According to investigators, they were alerted to the pair when the brothers tried to sell bleachers from the Volusia County Fairgrounds to a scrapyard.

"These two are under investigation for other thefts," said Haught. "There is a chance they can lead us to other suspects."

Investigators from sheriff's departments in both counties said they expect more arrests to come.