Detectives are trying to locate the owner of a large amount of copper and aluminum wire seized from a longtime felon last week.
Metal has been increasingly targeted by thieves in the last few years because it can be sold for cash at scrap yards.
So when police found William L. Moore, 44, with gloves, flashlights, saws, tools and more than 70 feet of aluminum and copper wire after a traffic stop at Argonne Road and Sinto Avenue on May 4, they figured he was up to something criminal. Moore even had a receipt from a metal shop indicating he’d recently sold about $37 worth of aluminum wire, police said.
But detectives haven’t been able to track the wire found with Moore back to its original owners, despite near-daily reports to Crime Check of metal theft around the city.
“I know it’s stolen; I just need to find who owns it,” said Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Dean Meyer. Meyer suspects the wire may have come from downed power lines during last week’s windstorm.
Moore isn’t helping with the investigation; officers described him as “confrontational” and said he insisted that police “shoot him,” according to a warrant used to search his 1990 Toyota Camry on Friday.
Moore is in the Geiger Confinement Center on a charge of obstructing a police investigation related to the traffic stop and a charge of second-degree burglary for a January incident. Meyer says Moore will be charged with possession of burglary tools for the items found in the Camry. He’ll recommend theft charges for the copper wire if he can determine where Moore got it.
“People don’t just leave 50 feet of (copper wire) around,” Meyer said. “It’s just too expensive.”
Moore has 19 felony convictions, including 14 property-related crimes.
Anyone with information on the wire should call Meyer at (509) 477-3159.