Meth Use Common Thread Among Copper Theft Suspects

A six month investigation has led Colorado Springs police to the arrests of three people in a copper wire theft case. Cops say their suspects sold the metal to earn money for drugs.

Officers of the department's IMPACT team searched three properties and four vehicles, where they found evidence implicating two men and one woman. Additional suspects are also expected to be arrested.

Police say the suspects are responsible for stealing 6,000 pounds of wire from street light poles in an area bounded by Powers Boulevard on the west, Marksheffel Road on the east, North Carefree on the south and Woodmen Road on the north. The estimated cost to fix the lights is $500,000.

Police have not released the names of the three people arrested because the investigation is still ongoing. They did confirm, however, that all three of the current suspects are residents of Colorado Springs, and knew each other through methamphetamine use.

Police also refused to identify the recycling businesses where the stolen copper was sold.

The number of metal thefts, including copper and other metals, more than doubled last year. CSPD says they investigated 211 cases in 2010 and 482 in 2011.