Two men accused of stealing copper wire from Granger warehouse

Michael Johnson Steven Livingston
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Two men were arrested after allegedly stealing copper wire from a warehouse on Anderson Road in Granger, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Michael Johnson was arrested on one count of burglary.

Steven Livingston was arrested on one count of burglary (aiding, inducing or causing an offense).

On Saturday, officers with the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department were called to the warehouse for a possible burglary in progress.

According to police, the warehouse formerly housed a business who had reported several thefts of copper wiring.

A detective at the warehouse discovered fresh footprints in the snow around the building and a partially opened entrance door on the building's west side.

When he opened the door, he saw Michael Johnson carrying copper wire to a white Ford work van, according to reports.

The detective saw a second man, identified as Steven Livingston, allegedly run toward the north end of the building. He was caught by police.

Johnson said a friend named "Chad" asked him to go to the warehouse for a cleanup job to "make some extra money" and that after, they could take whatever they wanted, reports said.

Johnson allegedly said it was "basically getting copper."

The night before, Johnson and Livingston were out "scrapping" from dumpsters and drove by the warehouse after selling scraps at the scrapyard, according to Johnson.

Livingston called a man named "Rob", told him, "it's all good" and "let's go" and the three men met up at a grocery store before going to the warehouse, reports said.

Rob later called his friend Chad to join them.

While Rob and Livingston went to a hardware store to buy a tool, Johnson and Chad went to the warehouse.

Later, Rob brought a van to the warehouse and Livingston acted as lookout, reports said.

Johnson showed police text messages and calls between him and Livingston.

He said the incident was his first time in the building with the three men and the men told him they made over $20,000 scrapping from the warehouse, reports said.

Johnson was released on bond. His initial hearing is set for March 9.

Livingston was released on bond. His initial hearing is set for March 3.  

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