Cops arrest two amid wire thefts

A COIL of copper wire, estimated to be 10m long and weighing 30kg, was stolen from telephone poles north of Kyogle over the weekend.

It is the latest in a spate of copper wire thefts, with the metal also being taken from train tracks and Country Energy depots.

The price of copper wire has skyrocketed in recent months, peaking at about $7 a kilogram earlier this month.

At its lowest copper was worth just $3 a kilogram.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager, Detective Inspector Greg Moore, said police responded to reports of people stealing copper wire from Telstra poles in the Gradys Creek area, north of Kyogle, at 9.15pm on Friday.

“Police stopped a Commodore and talked to the occupants of the car,” he said.

“A 28-year-old man was arrested in relation to two outstanding warrants.

“Officers also searched the vehicle and located a coil of copper wire in the boot.

“The man and a 39-year-old woman, both of Queensland, were charged with stealing and goods in custody.”

Det Insp Moore said police also found a bag containing gloves and cutting equipment.

“This is the latest in a series of arrests for the theft of copper-related products in isolated rural areas,” he said.

“Police would encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it.”

Last year the Australian Rail Track Corporation warned that people could face hefty fines or jail time if they were found stealing copper linewire from train tracks.

They issued the warning after several thefts between Grafton and Casino.

Country Energy spokesman Mike Hely said they had been forced to boost security at their depots on the Northern Rivers in an effort to stop thieves from stealing copper wire.

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