NEW ORLEANS — It was a case that hit close to home for the New Orleans office of the FBI.

The agency says in a Wednesday news release that a man was spotted outside its New Orleans field office removing copper from the site where a visitor center is under construction.

Security guards spotted him around 6 p.m. on Sept. 22.

Surveillance cameras recorded him pulling up in a white pickup truck and grabbing copper wire belonging to a federal contractor. He drove away as guards approached.

The FBI and city police investigated. On Wednesday, 39-year-old Michael Bailey of New Orleans was charged under state law with felony theft. Online records show Bailey was being held at the New Orleans jail. It was unclear if he had an attorney who could comment.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.