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Hoquiam men arrested stealing copper from Harbor Paper

April 4, 2014

2 Hoquiam men were arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Burglary 2nd degree, Theft 2nd degree and Malicious Mischief 2nd degree after being caught stripping stolen copper wire on the former Harbor Paper mill site.

Hoquiam officers were dispatched to the former mill as the site is in the process of being demolished.

Since the closure of Harbor Paper, the site has been the victim of several thefts of metal and equipment. The demolition company is currently employing full-time security across the entire site.

Employees reported someone had entered the property overnight to steal several thousand dollars worth of copper wire. The suspects cut the wires not only from a power box inside of a defunct mill building, but also from a rented generator being used during demolition.

The damage to the United Rentals generator power cord was estimated to be over $3,400 alone.

Both the generator cords and wires to a power box inside the building had fresh cut marks. In addition to the damage to the wires, numerous demolition employees were unable to work without power, costing the company nearly $5,000 in lost wages.

Following drag marks in the dirt and into the brush beyond, employees located several pieces of stolen wire.

Officers were dispatched back to the location when security caught two suspects stripping wire on the property. The suspects fled on foot and were chased by employees to a swamp area between the mill and 28th Street.

A 54 year old Hoquiam man surrendered but his 50 year old accomplice initially resisted surrendering.

Both men denied being on the property or stealing metal, claiming they were trying to find a lost dog dog, yet could not explain anything about the dog, only describing the dog’s name as “Something.”.

Both were identified by the demolition company employees.

Officers checked the area and found approximately two hundred pounds of copper wire, half already stripped and the other half being prepared to be stripped.

The demolition employees discovered the pair of bolt cutters next to the stripped pile of wire had actually been stolen from inside the mill building during the burglary.

Both men were booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Burglary 2nd Degree, Theft 2nd Degree and Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree.

Both have an extensive criminal history.

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