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Tucson man arrested for scrapping more than 1,000 pounds of copper

Police arrested 31-year-old Manuel Castaneda was arrested and charged with two counts of theft and two counts of trafficking in stolen property.

Tucson man arrested for scrapping more than 1,000 pounds of copper

By Taylor Higgins. CREATED Nov 20, 2013

Tucson (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson police have arrested a man connected to multiple scrap metal thefts.

Sgt. Maria Hawke with the Tucson Police Department tells KGUN9 that 31-year-old Manuel Castaneda was arrested and charged with two counts of theft and two counts of trafficking in stolen property.

Hawke says employees at Tucson Electric Power initially called police to report that copper wire had been stolen from the main power plant on November 9th and November 11th.

The value of the stolen copper wire was estimated at approximately $2800.00 and had an approximate length of 150 feet, according to Hawke.

Investigators assigned to the Pawn/Metal Theft Unit located the stolen wire at a local scrap yard. Their investigation revealed that Castaneda was responsible for selling it to the scrap yard, Hawke said.

A further investigation into Castaneda revealed Castaneda had scrapped over 1,000 pounds of copper wire between the dates of November 6 and
November 10 at a second scrap yard location, according to Hawke.

Investigators later learned that Castaneda had been involved in scrapping various metals over an approximately one year, earning over $13,000 in profit, Hawke said.

Castaneda worked for a subcontractor of a general contractor, who worked at the TEP main power plant.

Police believe he used his position as a subcontractor to gain access to TEP secured lots and facilities. Therefore, police suspect there could be more victims in Pima and Cochise Counties.