Metro police arrest copper wire thief

Metro Transit Police have arrested James Mulchey for theft of more than $10,000 of copper wire. Photo: Copper wire/ AP file

WASHINGTON, November 22, 2013 — The Associated Press is reporting that, after a recent rash of copper robberies in the DC Metropolitan Area, Metro Transit Police have made an arrest.

Police have charged James Mulchey III, a Metro electrical contractor, with the theft of more than $10,000 worth of copper wire from Washington Metro Area Transit Authority facilities. They are alleging that Mr. Mulchey stole copper from the Metro sites several times since June. All of the sites were in Maryland, including the Greenbelt Rail Yard, which was hit several times between June and November.

“We will continue to send a message to those who attempt to defraud the region’s taxpayers that such activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” said the Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pavlik. “I want to commend the Transit Police Criminal Investigations Division for today’s arrest”.

Copper robberies have become a common occurrence in recent years. However, what sets Mulcahey apart is that thieves have traditionally targeted foreclosed or abandoned homes for copper pipes rather than active Metro facilities for wires.

Police charged Mulcahey with felony theft yesterday afternoon after he is supposed to have made a sale of the stolen copper to a company in Charles County, Maryland. Police are still unsure of the exact value of all of the wire Mulahey stole, but they are estimating it to be over $10,000.


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Ryley Trahan

Ryley J. Trahan is a writer and physics teacher in Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg Virginia, with undergraduate degrees in English and Physics. He loves comic books and super heroes. He also writes a blog about Physics in New Media.

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