Compiegne. In two years, David Morel stole 6.6 tonnes of copper from the company that employed him

Compiegne. In two years, David Morel stole 6.6 tonnes of copper from the company that employed him

The spouses stole tons of copper, not in the form of cable like here, but more often in the aspect of shot – Illustration photo by Ra Dragon on Unsplash

“I tried to fly. In the beginning, it was two-three kilos that I put in my banana. I saw that it was easy and I continued. It is for more than 6 tons of copper stolen in the space of two years – from January 2020 to January 2022 – that David Morel, 52, a former employee of a metal recycling and refining company, appears this Tuesday, June 7 with his wife, Cécile Lombard, 55, meanwhile prosecuted for complicity in theft.

Following the anonymous report of another REGAL employee, the police arrested David Morel for leaving work on the night of January 22 to 23. It is then 3 a.m. In the trunk of their vehicle of Morel (employee of the company for ten years), the officials discovered three white seals, with a capacity of 25 liters each: they were filled with copper shot. David Morel is placed in police custody, where he can only recognize the evidence.

Later, a search takes place at his home in Nampcel, where a 5-liter can is discovered by the investigators, which this time there are copper filings. Morel’s wife is also heard, acknowledging that with her husband she went to a scrap dealer in the region, with whom the couple had a joint account – on which regular payments were made. In total, in two years, 8,259 euros in transfers and 26,190 euros in checks have been credited to the Morel-Lombard account. And so 6.6 tonnes of copper was stolen in 24 months, or about 70 kilos every week – hidden in the trunk of his car.

Dismissal for gross negligence

Since dismissed for gross negligence, David Morel is now being prosecuted for theft and his wife (and mother of his four children) for complicity in theft. But the latter (a blank record), seized with dizziness and tremors at the bar of the court, will only attend the start of the hearing – waiting on a seat in the waiting room until the end of the proceedings. “If I stole, it was to help my family, it was not to enrich myself”, advances David Morel, referring in particular to the driving licenses of his children that he had to finance. And to promise the court: “Everything I stole, I want to pay back.”

Insisting on “the co-action of the Morel spouses”, prosecutor Audrey Senegas is convinced that the two defendants “chose to spend their money where they wanted, seeking a standard of living that was above their own”. It requires against them the same sentence, namely 6 months in prison with suspended probation for 24 months, with an obligation to work and to compensate the civil parties.

Presenting its customers as “people who are brave, who get up every morning and realize that it is not enough” Me Charlotte de Boislaville pleads “that they did not get rich” explaining that “nothing remains on their accounts”. And to concludes his argument by considering “that they should only be sentenced to a simple reprieve”.

The court is sensitive to this last argument, condemning David Morel and his wife, respectively, to 8 and 6 months in prison with a simple suspended sentence. In addition, they will have to pay 35,896 euros to REGAL for financial damage – and 1 euro for moral damage.