Two men accused of stealing thousands of feet of copper wire from runway light towers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have been arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
Jeramie Harms, 28, appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Tuesday morning. He did not enter a plea and was released with conditions, prosecutors said.
The second suspect, Timothy Lynch, 50, is jailed on an unrelated charge and will make a court appearance in the coming weeks, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
According to a federal criminal complaint unsealed today, Harms and Lynch entered a secured area of Sea-Tac Airport and removed 7,200 feet of copper cable from the light towers. The copper wire cost more than $77,000 when it was installed in 2008.
The theft was discovered on Feb. 12, when a Port of Seattle employee noticed damage to the fence surrounding the runway light structures near South 188th Street and Des Moines Memorial Drive.
Harms and Lynch are charged with theft of public property, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
The arrests were announced a day after the King County Prosecutor’s Office indicated it had charged two men in an unrelated wire-theft case, which could be the biggest in state history.