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DPS Thwarts Copper Theft Operation

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 -

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On September 27, 2012, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Southern Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit, conducted a criminal investigation regarding copper theft from the ASARCO Mining Corporation in Hayden, Arizona. A commercial vehicle traffic stop was conducted on Interstate 10 near Mile post 200. Approximately 48 copper ingots were discovered in the trailer of the commercial vehicle. (Copper ingots are large copper plates. Each plate measures 4.0 feet in width, 4.0 feet in length, two inch in thickness and weighs approximately 880 pounds).

With the information obtained from the traffic stop and with the assistance of the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, a search warrant was executed at a residence located at 6320 w. Tangerine Road in Marana, Arizona. During the execution of the warrant 54 copper ingots were discovered. This lead to the seizure of three truck tractors, three semi-trailers, one fork lift and two hand carts.

Representatives from the ARSARCO Hayden Plant were on scene to make positive identification of their stolen copper ingots. The approximate value of the stolen copper is in excess of $300,000.00


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The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.