The price of copper is on the rise and so apparently is copper wire theft. Today Burbank Police announced the arrest of three suspects in what appears to be a very creative copper wire theft ring.
Last Friday, the suspects reportedly showed up at a home in Burbank claiming to be with the local cable company, Charter Communications. They were wearing “..hard hits, utility belts, and orange vests…” according to a Burbank PD press release.
The suspects told the resident they were there to “…cut old wire down from the utility pole.” The suspects completed the job and then left. However, “a concerned neighbor” wrote down the suspects’ vehicle license plate number and called police.
Investigators later tracked down the suspects through the address registered to the vehicle. In a search, authorities say they discovered “numerous hard hats, utility belts, orange reflector vests, and cutting tools.”
The male suspects reportedly admitted to stealing copper wire and selling it for profit. They have been identified as 29-year-old Jesus Arreguin-Lopez of Panorama City, 26-year-old Jose Esparza of Van Nuys, and 30-year-old Juan Lopez of Los Angeles.
This incident is part of a growing problem in the Media City. Burbank Police: “During the past few months there has been an increase in the theft of metal from power sub-stations, parks, and local businesses. The thefts are taking place at all hours of the day and night. These thefts typically involve the theft of wiring or piping. Thieves are using different types of tools to remove the metals. There have been additional thefts of aluminum support bars from bleachers at our local parks.”