Police Discover Field Exposing Metal Theft Scheme - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/23/07-Tyler

Police Discover Field Exposing Metal Theft Scheme

"It's amazing looking at the volume that's out here," says Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin.

A fellow officer happened to be patrolling this area, when the crime was discovered lurking in the woods.

"All of a sudden, a couple heads popped up where the two suspects were actually in the process of stripping this wire," says Martin.

Those suspects ran off and got away, but police pieced together the crime they left behind.

Inside these wires is not actual copper but what's called a "copper weld," stripped from the core and sold for cash.

"The metal companies that do buy scrap metals, they're getting approximately two dollars per pound for this," says Martin.

The wires are originally wrapped on these spools, and police suspect the culprits physically rolled them several yards to the wooded area, with barely anyone noticing.

Martin says, "It would be a theft because they're actually stealing from the railroad, it belongs to them. They're on their property that's criminal trespassing. They're not authorized to be out there. "

While it's difficult to catch who's behind this operation, police are relying on scrap metal yards to be proactive.

"They can certainly tip us off and say hey these people are still coming in, especially when we've identified the type of metal and what they're stealing here," Martin says.

Until then, more patrols are expected around Union Pacific Railroad, police hoping to catch these thieves in the act.

The only description police have of the suspects is that they are two black males, wearing dark clothes.

There could also be federal charges tacked in these cases when stealing from railroad companies.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

 

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