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Sheriff's department makes arrests for copper thefts

Deputies from the Dakota County Sheriff's office responding to a reported fire in the woods located burning rolls of copper wire. The fire was reported in the area of Cooper Avenue and Cannon River Boulevard, in a remote area commonly referred to as the "Cascades" in the City of Randolph.

According to sheriff Dave Bellows, upon their arrival deputies located rolls of cooper wire with the plastic insulation burning. This is a common method used to remove the plastic insulation prior to selling the wire for scrap. Deputies searched the area and found an adult male driving a car that matched the description of a car seen leaving the area of the fire. The suspect, a 49-year-old male, was found in possession of a gas can at the time he was stopped.

A second suspect, a 24-year-old male, was located by other deputies walking in the woods near the fire. Both suspects were taken into custody and jailed. Detectives from the DCSO believe the wire was stolen the prior evening from an irrigation unit in Castle Rock Township.

The investigation continues to determine if the suspects are involved in a number of other copper wire thefts that have occurred over the past month in rural Dakota County.