Two men arrested for stealing from building damaged in Christmas blast

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Buildings along First Avenue in downtown Nashville damaged in the Christmas morning blast, left exposed and vulnerable, are now the scene for more crime.

“I think it’s a shame, it’s a downright shame,” said Spencer Krueger, who was on a walk near the site.

People in the area are reacting to the news that 59-year-old Richard Crawford and 53-year-old Walter Crawford are charged with burglary, theft, and vandalism. Both men are accused of stealing copper wires from the area of 174 First Avenue North late Thursday night into early Friday morning.

“It appears that there’s a certain amount of society rules and regulations that have broken down somewhat, and that is not supposed to be the new normal,” said Krueger.

This isn’t the first time copper pipes and wires have been stolen from these buildings following the blast, but this time the suspects were caught on camera.

Metro Police located both suspects at a homeless camp on Anthes Drive, according to a police report. When the suspects were questioned, the warrant alleges they admitted to taking the copper wire after crawling through a hole in the fence and over a pile of bricks.

The stolen copper scraps have a value between $400-600, but the vandalism caused roughly $5,000 in repairs.

“This area has already been heavily affected, you don’t have to make it worse,” said Simon Davis, a tourist visiting Nashville.

Both men were arrested and remain in the Metro Jail on a $21,000 bond.

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