Four suspects who claimed to be helping a non-profit before they allegedly stole about $120,000 of copper from Seattle City Light have been caught.
Two people had earlier called City Light claiming to be members of the Cherokee Nation and asked for a small amount of scrap copper for a nonprofit dedicated to helping disabled children.
City Light gave them access to its South Service Center on Tuesday, and that’s when about 40,000 pounds of insulated scrap copper wire disappeared.
Seattle Police Department detectives coordinating with the Portland Police Department caught two adults and two juveniles allegedly associated with the theft on Thursday. Police also found the two trucks they say were used in the theft; one at a Portland metal-recycling facility and the other in Milton, Pierce County.
City Light is reviewing its security procedures to prevent any more such thefts in the future, according to a release from the utility.
High copper prices have led to several similar thefts recently. In February, 1,000 feet of copper wire was stolen from the approach lighting for one of the three runways at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Earlier this month, nighttime events at Delridge Playfield in West Seattle were canceled because thieves stole 1,200 feet in wiring from there, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation.
The parks department has asked the public to be on the lookout for suspicious-looking maintenance work, especially at night when the department does not schedule work on its fields.
Anyone who has information on similar thefts is asked to call the Seattle Police Department at 206-625-5011.