Arrested were Eddie Earnest, 51, and Encarnacion Burch, 39, both of Marianna.

MARIANNA — Two men have been arrested in Holmes County on charges of stealing copper wire, lawmen say.


Arrested were Eddie Earnest, 51, and Encarnacion Burch, 39, both of Marianna.


The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a press release the two stole copper telephone wire strung between utility poles, causing outages for numerous customers in Jackson, Holmes and Walton counties.


After stealing the wire, the two removed the copper and sold it to a second-hand metal dealer, the FDLE said.


Damages so far total $5,000, but that number is expected to go higher.


Earnest and Burch were arrested Thursday at Earnest’s residence on Mellow Trail in Marianna. They were booked into the Jackson County Jail and charged with theft of copper from a utility or communications service provider.


The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office and Marianna Police Department assisted in the investigation.


The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney, 14th Judicial Circuit.