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July 30, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Alleged copper-wire thieves in custody

Two alleged perpetrators of what was called the largest metal theft in state history are in custody after being booked into the King County Jail in Seattle late Monday.

Donald Howard Turpin, 54, is being held on $50,000 bail, and Lee Russell Skelly, 44, is being held on $5,075 bail.

The King County Prosecutor charged the men with using bolt cutters to snip some 4.3 miles of copper wiring from the underside of Link light-rail tracks¬†¬†— or 70,000 pounds — over nine months from November 2010 to August 2011. While the theft did not endanger public safety, charging documents said the men each earned $40,000 by selling the wire to recyclers.

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