Kansas City man allegedly stole backup batteries from multiple cell tower sites across the Kansas City metropolitan area.
On Monday, the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office charged 35-year-old Christopher Coulson of Kansas City with burglary, stealing and possession of burglar’s tools.
At about 9:05 p.m. on June 27, 2017, officers were dispatched to 14650 NW 136th Street in Platte City on a triggered alarm at a cellular tower site. Deputies found tire tracks around the parameter of the site and a damaged security fence resting against the northeast corner of the cell tower.
Upon further investigation, deputies found pieces of a chain link fence, likely severed by bolt cutters and a wooden ladder just beneath an open-door panel. Police notified Verizon and the site owner, Crown Castle, within 24-hours of the alleged burglary. A site technician who surveyed the scene told police 24 “DEKA’ backup batteries, valued at approximately $12,000, were missing from the cell tower.
An agent of Crown Castle said this was the sixth cell site tower to be burglarized over a two week period.
On July 13, 2017 police say they caught Christopher Coulson burglarizing a cell tower site in Lafayette County.
According to court documents, Coulson had two dozen batteries lined up near a Budget box truck. Inside the vehicle, police say they recovered bolt cutters and wire snips.
Forensic scientists linked the bolt cutters to the severed pieces of the chain link fence found in Platte County.
Police also have video surveillance of Coulson entering and exiting another cell tower site in the same getaway vehicle about a week earlier.
Authorities say Coulson is a persistent offender and if found guilty he could be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment on each felony count.
His bond has been set at $20,000.