Police Find a Mountain of Copper Wire Insulation - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Police Find a Mountain of Copper Wire Insulation

Benjamin Demello Benjamin Demello
Steffani Ross Steffani Ross
Captain Moana Heu Captain Moana Heu

By Beth Hillyer

KALIHI (KHNL) - Investigators arrest three people and feel confident they have broken up a Kalihi copper theft ring. And this bust is related to Taily Corpuz. He's the man who was electrocuted Monday while stealing copper wire at a nearby military property.

Even though there is razor wire behind this fence, plenty of people still live under the freeway. Now police say they were stashing and splitting wire right here.

If you were to unravel it all, it would likely stretch for miles. Here's how police stumbled on the wire.

Officers investigating the death of Taily Corpuz stopped by the H-1 viaduct to talk to a woman who called 9-1-1 after her friend was electrocuted and fell to his death. They found her and a whole lot more.

Captain Moana Heu explains how officers found the stash, "He came down here the woman did admit to making the phone call and apparently she had drugs. And according to the Sergeant, they were actively stripping copper wire when he came upon them."

Officers arrested Steffani Ross, Benjamin Demello and Ernesto Lamarca.

Captain Heu adds, "I think it just lets us know where all the copper wire was being stripped."

There are industrial sized spools and tiny brightly colored copper insulation. They stripped every bit of it and sold it for around two dollars a pound. "I think we were shocked in the enormity of it, you don't do this in a week or a month adds Captain Heu."

Investigators believe they've been stealing it from the Kalihi area for some time. Captain Heu explains "We had cleaned this place out about a year ago in conjunction with the State. I can imagine since that time it's been accumulated here."

Besides the copper wire, police found piles of junk and some items they believe are stolen.

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