GPS Tracking System Helps Police Catch Copper Thieves

stolen-copper-wireIn Cassia County, ID, stolen copper has become a big problem because it is so valuable and fairly easy to steal. Unfortunately copper wire and pipe is being stolen from numerous job sites, forcing police and contractors to strictly tighten security.

According to Santos Recycling in Burley, prices for copper run around $2.30 per pound which creates a lucrative motive for thieves, reported the Cassia Voice. Thieves steal the copper and other metals from work sites and then sell it to scrap and recycling businesses.

In an effort to crack down on the County’s copper thieves, the local Sheriff embedded a load of copper wire with a GPS tracking system and then left it out in the open on private property. It didn’t take long for the thieves to take the bait.

On Sunday night at 5:24 p.m. the GPS tracking system sent an alert to the sheriff’s office saying that the copper wire had been moved. Officers immediately jumped in their vehicles and followed the directions provided by the GPS tracking system to locate the suspects’ vehicle.

Sheriff Randy Kidd and his team found the copper wire along with two suspects who were arrested on suspicion of grand theft. Kidd said the use of GPS tracking technology combined with “good old law enforcement” led to the arrest of Jorge Ernest Castillo, 38, of Burley, and a 15-year-old male whose name was not released.

This is the second time the use of a GPS tracking system has led to multiple arrests in the last couple of years. Sheriff Kidd said the GPS tracking system has been “effective in apprehending copper thieves in the county.”

As sheriff, Kidd said he will continue to deploy as many GPS tracking devices as the department can afford, because it “has proven to be the most effective tool combating and catching copper thieves who are operating in the county.”