A man who stole thousands of feet of copper wire from the runway light towers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport earlier this year pleaded guilty to theft of public property.
Timothy Lynch, 50, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart on Jan. 13.
According to a federal criminal complaint, 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.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the cable was stolen from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) towers, rendering them inoperable and potentially posing a threat to airline safety. Replacing the copper wire and repairs to damages cost the FAA more than $30,000.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that the Court sentence Lynch to 30 months in prison.