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Front Page » November 6, 2007 » Briefly » Deputies catch copper wire thief
Published 3,396 days ago

Deputies catch copper wire thief

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A large quantity of copper wire was in the possession of the suspect.

On Sunday Oct. 28, night an anonymous tip came in that a subject camping south of the golf course, west of Ferron was camping in the cedars and may be involved in the theft of copper wire.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the area and located the camp. After a short period of time a vehicle came back to the camp and in the back was a large quantity of copper cable.

The suspect, Matthew Hull, 41, from the Salt Lake County area has been in Emery County camping for a couple of weeks, was arrested on warrants from Weber County.

Deputies also located some copper cable at the camp site. Det. Sgt. Robert Blackburn and Det. John Barnett proceeded with the investigation. They determined the copper wire came from the Nielson Construction crusher site at the gravel pit.

Nielson Construction called the Emery County Sheriff's Office the morning of Oct. 29 to report the cable missing. At that time the suspect was already in custody.

The detectives, in working with other people, were led to a storage shed in Clawson where a large amount of copper cable was retrieved as well as other evidence.

When detectives interrogated the suspect he admitted to taking the copper cables.

This is the second time a Nielson crusher site has been the target of theft. There was also a large amount of copper wire taken from a crusher site in Carbon County over Labor Day weekend. It is not known if these thefts are related to the current one. The value of the wire stolen from Nielson's had an estimated value of $50,000.

There have also been thefts of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from different construction sites.

Sheriff LaMar Guymon has met with the owner of Nielson Construction, Wayne Nielson. Together they determined that extra patrols and surveillance is needed. Nielson's will put additional security at the site and on all of the equipment, as will the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Guymon said, "We encourage all citizens to report suspicious behavior and circumstances. This theft was discovered so quickly and taken care of due to reports by citizens. We appreciate their help and concern and appreciate their assistance in keeping the citizens of our county safe along with their property."

Det. Sgt. Blackburn reported that Sgt. Jeff Thomas and Deputy Casey Alton went to the camp site and arrested the subject. Deputy Garrett Conover, Deputy Shaun Bell, and Sgt. Martin Wilson were also involved with the investigation at the Nielson crusher site. At the gravel pit, the copper cables had been cut directly off the machines as they sat in the yard. Upon the arrival of the workers on Oct. 29, they discovered the theft of the copper cables.

Damages with missing cable and lost time due to the theft are estimated upwards of $75,000. There were footprints leading away from the Nielson gravel pit and back to the suspect's campsite.

Det. Sgt. Blackburn said the copper cable had been cut into 10 foot lengths and is useless for the equipment it came off and the cables will all need to be replaced before the equipment is useable again.

Det. Sgt. Blackburn reported that Hull has an extensive criminal background and he told detectives he sells the copper to salvage yards up north. The entire load of wire filled a trailer from the sheriff's office when it was all collected. It was a sizeable amount of wire recovered.

Hull is being held at the Emery County detention center on theft and other charges.

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November 6, 2007
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