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Pair attempts to steal copper wire from Burbank utility, police say

Police are searching for two men who attempted to steal three large spools of copper wire — one of which was worth at least $38,000 — at a city utility yard early Wednesday.

The unidentified men reportedly stole a truck and forklift to move the three spools, one of which weighed about 200 pounds, at a Burbank Water and Power facility at about 3:15 a.m., Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said.

Burbank Water and Power employees alerted police to the suspicious incident at the utility’s satellite location on Victory Boulevard, foiling the theft. The men fled the scene as police arrived, Ryburn said.

A description of the men was not immediately available.


The men, police said, were trying to move the spools, about 2 to 3 feet wide and weighing roughly 200 pounds each, into the truck. The forklift’s engine was still running inside the storage facility, next to the spools of wire, when officers arrived.

“One spool was sitting on the forklift, and it was the most expensive,” Ryburn said.

Police searched the area for the suspects, but to no avail, he added.

The truck and forklift apparently were stolen from a Lowe’s home improvement store.


The ignitions for both vehicles were damaged, Ryburn said, and the door lock for the truck was punched out to allow entry to the vehicle.

Ryburn said officials were bolstering security measures at power stations across the city to avoid similar thefts of copper wire, which thieves sell for scrap.
-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Twitter: @mariahsin