POLICE are warning scrap dealers to be on the lookout for hot copper wiring after more than $100,000 worth of the precious metal was reported stolen from the region's electricity depots.
On Friday night a worker at Maryborough's Ergon Energy Depot in Searle St found 1150m of copper wiring was missing from a secure site.
If cashed in, the haul could fetch up to $96,000.
On Saturday morning a Hervey Bay scrap metal dealer phoned police after becoming suspicious about two men who were allegedly selling $1000 batches in the Urangan area.
Police who had been investigating the theft from the night before immediately alerted CIB and plain clothes officers who allegedly caught the pair red-handed.
The men, aged 25 and 40 from Biggenden, were arrested on the spot but it was later discovered the copper found in their car boot was not related to the Maryborough theft.
Their wiring is believed to have come from an Ergon Energy depot in Monto.
Some time last week two drums of copper wiring were taken from a site in the South Burnett town.
Both men were released on bail yesterday after being charged with enter premises with intent.
The 45-year-old also faces an alternative charge of stealing/receiving stolen property.
They will front the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on April 21.
Maryborough Police Sergeant Wayne Ticknell said it could be extremely difficult to track down the culprits of the Searle St theft.
He said while the copper was discovered missing on Friday, it could have been taken any time since the area was last used in December.
“We would ask all scrap dealers to be aware of people bringing in large amounts of copper wiring,” Sgt Ticknell said.
“These items may have been stolen and need to be reported.”
Phone Crime Stoppers with information: 1800 333 000
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