UPDATE: Arrest made in theft of $100,000 worth of copper

By: Parish Alleman Email
By: Parish Alleman Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- Authorities have made an arrest in connection the theft of a large amount of copper wire.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says sometime between October 18 and November 5 someone took the spool of copper wire from a Cornejo & Sons sand plant in the 3500 block of North Seneca.

"The copper was taken from inside our property lines, the fence was taken down to steal this copper." says Safety Manager Austin Williams.

Now, sheriff's investigators say, they know who took it.

Someone called in a tip that led them to 41-year-old Kevin Ormerod and his 18-year-old son Michael. Last Friday, investigators found enough evidence to tie both men to the Cornejo copper theft.

Lt. Dave Mattingly says the copper was not recovered.

We belive a very large portion of it has already been sold."

Lt. Mattingly says the scrap yard that the Ormerods sold the metal to didn't break the law. In fact, he says the thieves didn't sell all the copper all at once. It may have been stripped down and cut into smaller pieces to make it less suspicious.

investigators aren't sure how much money the father and son suspects got, but they say right now copper is selling for about $3 a pound. They stole about 9600 pounds of it.

A quick calculation shows they could have gotten up to $28,000, but it will cost Cornejo & Sons more than $100,000 to replace the loss.

"Unfortunately the copper that was stolen. It's burned, it's unusable by us we're still out that money and that amount of copper." says Williams.

He says he's still happy someone has been arrested and hopes their punishment fits the crime.

"I just hope that with the amount was stolen we see these people prosecuted and hopefully that they get more than just probation for this."

The father and son suspect have not been charged in this case yet. However, Lt. Mattingly said during the investigation, they uncovered a second theft, another large amount of copper, that they believe the Ormerods are responsible for.

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