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CSX Police, Canine and Railroaders Capture Copper Theft Suspect

Updated: Sep 7, 2018

Solid police work by the CSX Police Department at Philadelphia, with the assistance of an alert employee, has resulted in the arrest of a suspect in a rash of copper wire thefts.

A police team led by Special Agent Michael Bullard installed a monitoring camera and began surveillance after the Signal Department reported a series of copper wire thefts that began in late February. The thefts resulted in the loss of CSX property worth nearly $8,000.

The surveillance camera captured an image of a suspect in possession of bolt cutters on one occasion, and then, on March 19, a signal foreman reported a trespasser who matched the description of the individual on the video. The Philadelphia Police Department set up a neighborhood perimeter to contain the suspect, and CSX Special Agent Michael Wolcott brought Special Agent K9 Blue to assist.

Blue quickly located the suspect’s trail from the scent on a dropped backpack, which contained bolt cutters, and chased the suspect behind a house before securing an arrest. Philadelphia police transported the suspect, who was charged with theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing and railroad vandalism.

The suspect also had an active warrant for theft and a record that included prosecutions for theft, burglary, and resisting arrest.

The Story:

Kathleen Gallavan is Sr. Project Manager at CSX Information Technology.  When reading the Spotlight article above, it occurred to her that K-9s might need new or additional safety equipment and knew of organizations that had raised money to purchase K-9 vests for police departments and the military. Kathleen started asking questions about the feasibility of conducting a fundraising effort to provide the CSX K-9’s with safety equipment.  In talking to the Chief of Police and the K-9 Supervisor, it was determined that in the environment our K-9s operate, they are more likely to get a laceration, inhale a harmful substance or need basic first-aid than be hit by a bullet, and are often in locations where assistance is not readily available.  They determined that the K-9 Medical Kits –consisting of a full range of First Aid and Resuscitation needs – were the best option.

Kathleen quickly floated the idea to the NARBW Jacksonville Board, who approved it.  In four short weeks, Kathleen developed a campaign and enlisted the help of Dana Robles, NARBW Jacksonville Vice President.  CSX has four working K-9s in the field and would need approximately $2,200 to fund the kits (this includes a percentage for our scholarship fund).  Using Yammer (the CSX intranet equivalent of Facebook) and a poster designed by one of our newest members Casey Stepp, Kathleen and Dana were able to raise the entire goal in time to be able to present the kits to the CSX Police during a Police Week event, May 10th.  All four CSX K-9s were here in Jacksonville, Florida and the CSX Police introduced the K-9 Officers and demonstrated their skills to the employees.  Shelby, Hondo, Johnny and Blue are protection trained and two of them are bomb detection capable.  With 20,000 miles of CSX track, these pups are busy!!   With our efforts and the extremely generous donations by employees, members, and friends…they now have the safety equipment they need.

Sean Douris, the CSX Chief of Police, was blown away by our initiative, speed, and generosity.  Way to go NARBW!!


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