WINFIELD, Kan. (KAKE) — Two men are in jail in Cowley County for what is believed to be the most costly copper theft there.
Sheriff's deputies say the men were caught in the act in a warehouse at the Strother Field Industrial Park between Winfield and Arkansas City.
Sgt. Doug Allison says, "The one suspect was caught on the outside of the building kind of in an alley between two buildings. The other one was deep inside the building where there were no windows."
Allison says the total loss including building damage is estimated at $1 million.
Arrested were 51 year old David Lyman Drum of Winfield and 41 year old Omar Alvarez Carrasco of Newkirk, OK.
Allison says the charges being sought are for burglary, felony theft, criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing.
The building is the former Gordon and Piatt building.
Someone interested in buying the building discovered an open door and the work of the thieves. Sheriff's deputies believed the thieves would be returning and kept patrolling over night and caught the two.
Allison says, "In my experience this is the largest one I've seen yet for Cowley County where they've gone in and I believe they were working on this building for over a week just in the process of going in and cleaning it out."
He says receipts were found of the copper being sold to metal recycling companies in Wichita.
Posted by: Nick Viviani