Topic: copper wire theft
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October 18, 2013 at 9:22 AM
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.
April 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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