KSL NewsRadio's transmission site targeted by copper thieves

Published: Tuesday, March 29 2011 2:32 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Police are looking for two men who got away with more than $30,000 in goods and copper wire.

The east radio tower at KSL NewsRadio's transmission site rises more than 400 feet above the ground. It has been there since the 1930s. But it was the building near the tower that thieves targeted this month, getting away with more than $30,000 in copper wire, tools and other goods.

"This is stuff that isn't something that's going to come right off the shelves," said engineer Randy Finch. He said that is why metal recyclers should be able to recognize the stolen property.

It includes sliced up sections of feed cable that the thieves stripped off large spools in the yard, cut up into sections and loaded into a truck. They also got away with a welder and other tools.

The thefts were recorded on video. "We watched one person pick up a box of Scotch rags, just a box of paper towels," said Finch. "I guess he had a use for paper towels at home so he stuck it under his shoulder and out he went with it."

Over the past 30 years that Finch has worked at the site, he's seen other similar thefts. He said it seems when the economy turns more sour, thefts and break-ins at the remote site pick up.

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