Men Who Tried to Steal Copper Leave Behind Key Evidence

By Minna Sugimoto

KAPOLEI (KHNL) -- Two suspected copper thieves are on the run. But in their rush to get away from Honolulu police, they leave all their loot and other key evidence behind.

Lieutenant Daniel Ford emerges from an evidence storage unit at the Kapolei police station, and shows us the 353 pounds of insulated copper wire recovered Wednesday.

"As you can see, just hauling this short amount, and they're hauling it over at least 100 yards of sand, it's a lot of work," Ford said.

Investigators say two men are seen behind the Hawaiian Cement plant at Campbell Industrial Park, loading the copper wire into an SUV. But the thieves are forced to leave everything behind, including the get-away car, when officers converge.

"I was the first one there, approached the car, checked. The cable was inside of the car," Ford said. "And as I turned to look, the first suspect rounded the kiawe bush. He saw me, dropped that cable and started running."

Police are trying to determine who the product belongs to, so they can officially open a felony theft case. They say Hawaiian Electric doesn't own the copper wire.

"According to HECO, this is underground cable," Ford said. "So with all the new subdivisions that are coming up, once you lay the cable, unless you tie into the system, you wouldn't even know the cable was gone."

The product is labeled "Rome Cable 350 MCM Power."

"Copper thefts are up all over the island," Ford said. "Any public assistance we can get would be greatly appreciated."

Investigators say the registered owner of the SUV has become unreachable.

If you have any information about this case, call police.