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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: copper

Copper theft for wedding nets $18

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (AP) — Police say a western Pennsylvania couple desperate for money to pay for their wedding netted just $18 for the stolen copper wire they cut from more than a dozen utility poles.

North Sewickley police say 23-year-old Joseph Russell and 24-year-old April Cater cut down the wires on August 9, four days before their wedding.

Russell says he was desperate for money because he'd just lost his job and lost a $1,000 deposit after his reception hall abruptly closed down.

Sgt. Jeff Bezce says the couple clearly expected to get more money than they got from the scrap where they sold the copper.

Russell tells WPXI-TV he will pay for the damages. Utility officials say it will cost about $400 to repair the 18 poles that were damaged.

Metal thefts reported in Spokane Valley

Here's a dispatch from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Copper tubing valued at $700 was stolen this week from a railroad engine parked in the 11000 block of East Sprague, the owner reported to Crime Check.

The victim said he is modifying the engine to be a railroad education center and that the tubing supplied water to restrooms located inside the railroad engine.  He said he knew of no potential suspects.

Anyone with information should call Crime Check at 456-2233.

And on a Related Note…

A representative of AT&T Mobile reported the theft of copper ground cable from a cellular tower site in the 2600 block of North Robie Thursday.

The thief cut a hole through security fencing and stole the roll containing 200 feet of cable which was valued at $2,000 to $3,000.

Anyone with information….

Police recover $10k+ in stolen tools

More than $10,000 in stolen tools was recovered from a Spokane Valley storage unit today.

Detective Mark Renz believes the tools were stolen by Todd E. Hickman, 45, of Spokane, who was arrested Aug. 28 after police found him inside a vacant home looking for copper wire to steal, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Hickman was released after charges weren't filed within 72 hours, but a felony burglary charge was filed in connection with the case Thursday.

Detectives also have probable cause to arrest Hickman for second-degree burglary after a search today at the Spokane Mini-Warehouse in the 4500 block of East Trent Avenue revealed $10,000 to $15,000 worth of tools, including rolling tool cabinets, stolen from Acme Machine Works, 60121 E. Sharp Ave., on Aug. 1, police said.

  

Thieves target Avista power lines

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Overhead lines that return unused power to Avista have been targeted by metal thieves since late August, a company employee reported Monday.

Since Aug. 22, a suspect has stolen more than one and a half miles of #6 copper for a loss exceeding $18,000.  The company has been replacing the stolen copper lines with aluminum wire which is less expensive.

The employee said the return cable is the lower of the two lines on the power poles and that the suspect pulls the line down and then cuts it closest to the pole.   

The thefts are risky business. Although the line is usually not powered, it can be at any time and the thief would have no way of knowing if it is charged or not.

The most recent theft occurred Monday in the 20600 block of North Hazard Road.  Crews had just replaced the line at midnight and it was discovered missing again at 6 a.m.

Anyone with information regarding these thefts is encouraged to call Crime Check at 456-2233.
  

Scrapper arrested for Valley burglary

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

Officers arrested a 45-year-old Spokane man Sunday after they caught him inside a vacant house apparently looking for copper wire to steal. 

At 1:30 p.m., a man called to report a suspicious vehicle parked behind his mother’s vacant East Broadway home.  Officers Brian Hert and Chan Erdman approached the home and noted “No Trespassing” signs on both the front and back doors.

The two ordered the person they heard inside the home to exit and Todd E. Hickman walked out.  He acknowledged not knowing the owner of the home.

Hert’s investigation revealed that Hickman was on his way to the East Broadway Wal-Mart when he noticed two vacant homes across the street and decided to enter. 

Hert checked Hickman’s truck and found a large amount of copper wire in the back.  He also saw pieces of copper plumbing and a crowbar, hacksaw and other hand tools.

The officer determined that much of the wire had come from a vacant house just east of where they found Hickman.  Although they were unable to contact the owner of that home, they did establish that the suspect had cut and removed the power cord from the home’s electrical dryer.

Hert drove Hickman to the Spokane County Jail and booked him on a single count of Residential Burglary.

Reward offered for tips on Avista theft

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve a burglary in which two Spokane-area companies lost more than $5000 in copper wire and power tools.

The crime is believed to have occurred between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday at an Avista Utilities storage site at 2400 N. Dollar Road in Spokane Valley.

Employees believe the thief or thieves cut a padlock from a gate and backed a vehicle into the lot, then removed more than $3,000 in items from five Avista work trucks using a wheelbarrow.

Bouten Construction, which also stored items at the site, lost several power tools valued at about $2,000, including two Skil circular saws, two roto hammers and two cordless battery charges.

Anyone with information on is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

$5k in tools, copper wire stolen at Avista

Someone stole more than $5,000 worth of tools and copper wire from an Avista Utilities storage site in Spokane Valley early Wednesday.

Employees at 2400 N. Dollar Road believe the thief or thieves cut a padlock from a gate and backed a vehicle into the lot, then removed more than $3,000 in items from five Avista work trucks using a wheelbarrow.

Bouten Construction, which also stored items at the site, lost several power tools valued at about $2,000, including two Skil circular saws,  two roto hammers and two cordless battery charges.

Based on the amount of snow accumulated in footprints, police believe the break-in likely occurred sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on Avista copper caper

Thieves stole more than $1,000 worth of copper cable from an Avista substation in north Spokane this week.

Police are looking for tips on whoever cut the padlock at 8307 N. Regal and stole the coils of copper, which were discovered missing about 6:30 .am. Wednesday.

A copper ground cable embedded in the ground had been pulled out and stolen as well, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

“Three different types of Shawflex-brand cable were stolen: a 12-conductor #9 gauge, a seven-conductor #9 gauge and a four-conductor #9 gauge,” according to a news release. “In all, about 25 30-feet-long lengths of cable were stolen.”

Thieves often steal copper to sell to recycling firms.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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