A Hopkins County man has been placed on probation and ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution after admitting he stole a large amount of cable from the local electric utility system.

Jesse Michael Lane of Sulphur Springs had been charged with one count of theft of property of the value of between $1,500 and $20,000. During a Wednesday hearing in the 196th District Court, Lane entered a plea of guilty to the charge and was placed on five years of deferred adjudication probation. Lane was also ordered to pay $10,752 in restitution to the Greenville Electric Utility System (GEUS).

Lane, 23, was arrested by officers with the Greenville Police Department in connection with a theft from the GEUS warehouse at 6000 Joe Ramsey Boulevard.

A statement from the police department indicated that shortly after 1 a.m. on Jan. 23, Officer Mike Johnston observed a 2005 Dodge truck parked outside the fenced area of the warehouse, which had been a recent target of copper thieves.

Johnston and backup officers approached on foot and discovered Lane at the rear of the vehicle. The officers observed a large quantity of electrical cable in the bed of the truck and additional cable on the ground between the truck and the warehouse fence. The officers also observed two pairs of gloves and a pair of electric cable cutters lying on the ground with the wire.

Lane was reported to have told the officers how he had overheard a conversation about the wire while at a local club and went to the location to get the wire. A total of 671.6 feet of electrical cable was recovered along with three license plates, one of which did not belong to the truck at the scene.

At the time of his arrest, Lane had four outstanding traffic warrants issued out of the Greenville Municipal Court and two traffic warrants out of Hunt County.

Deferred adjudication carries no finding of guilt, although those defendants who are found to have violated a deferred probation are subject to being sentenced to the maximum punishment.

Lane was facing a maximum sentence upon conviction of from 180 days to two years in a state jail and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

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