Colorado Springs police say they've caught two guys responsible for stealing more than $20,000 in copper wire out of city-owned light poles.
Police say on April 21, Colorado Springs Utilities discovered that copper wire had been stolen from a light pole in the area of Interstate I-25 and Uintah.
Utility crews then noticed several additional light poles that had been “prepped”. Police say prepping is a tactic commonly used by copper thieves in which the access panel to the pole is removed, and the wiring within the pole cut. This action essentially prepares the pole so that the wiring may be easily and quickly removed at a later time.
A Police Metal Theft Investigative Team comprised of four patrol officers, a detective, and a sergeant responded to investigate. The team set up surveillance and were able to catch the two suspects stealing more wire at 2:30 a.m. on April 22.
When taken into custody, the suspects, now identified as 50-year-old Michael Filonowich and 48-year-old Michael Luedke, were in possession of tools commonly used to prepare light poles.
Investigators say Filonowich and Luedke are responsible for $20,000 worth of damage and theft from poles along I-25 between Bijou Street and Fillmore Street.
Both were placed in CJC on a class 3 felony charge of Theft. If anyone has information about copper thefts, please call police at 719-444-7000. If you would like to remain anonymous you can call Crime-stoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867) or you can simply text CSPD and your tip to 847411 (TIP411).