Dinwiddie man arrested for stealing copper, tools from construction sites

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- A Dinwiddie man is facing nearly a dozen charges after police say he broke into two colonial heights construction sites, stealing copper and the personal tools.

The first incident occurred on March 14, when Colonial Heights officers responded to the Southside Regional Hospital construction site located on East Roslyn Court.

Contractors reported that someone broke into construction trailers and removed copper pipe and construction tools during the middle of the night.

Five days later, police say the thief struck again, only this time an office spotted the suspect identified as Bryan Mark Beachem, and took him into custody.

In the early morning hours of March 19, a patrol officer was checking the construction site and noticed an unoccupied vehicle with the trunk open.

“The officer discovered copper tubing and burglary tools inside the open trunk. While on foot searching for the driver, the officer saw a subject run from the site and after a brief foot pursuit, a male suspect was taken into custody,” said a police spokesperson.

"He's got at least eight felony charges and two misdemeanors that may change into felonies depending on the value of the items once they finish their investigation," said Colonial Heights Sgt. Renee Walters.

Bryan Mark Beachem

The felony charges include three for grand larceny, two for burglary, two for larceny with intent to sell, and one for possession of burglary tools.

Police say Beachem was also wanted by three other jurisdictions, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, and Richmond for failure to appear in court.

Ross Bauschatz, the owner of Priority Home Solutions, says he understands the tool thefts can affect construction companies first-hand.

Bauschatz, who is unrelated to the Colonial Heights thefts, had some heavy equipment stolen at the end last year from his Prince George County Office.

"It comes right out of the technician’s pocket or the owner’s pocket… and I mean it hurts,” he said.

Ross Bauschatz

"You need these tools to make your everyday living, support our family and a man comes along and steals what you're using to provide for your family.”

While Bauschatz hasn't recovered his stolen property, he says he and many other construction companies have turned to a unique device to help catch thieves.

Game cameras used by hunters are now being hidden around construction sites.

Police say this time of year it's not just construction sites being targeted, but homes as well.

Sgt. Walters says homeowners need to be mindful as well.

"A lot of times in Spring and Summer, we have reports of items that are stolen from vehicles such as the back of a truck or a trailer, or even a shed, especially lawn equipment or household tools," Walters added.

Beachem is being held without bond at Regional Jail pending his next court date on May 16, in Colonial Heights General District Court.