Thieves suspected of stealing copper wire from railroad right-of-way

A utility pole with cut wires dangling from it, following the suspected theft of copper wire near Modena, Iron County, Utah, Aug. 23, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

IRON COUNTY — Authorities are investigating the reported theft of copper wire from Union Pacific Railroad property west of Modena, a remote town in western Iron County.

A damaged utility pole following the suspected theft of copper wire near Modena, Iron County, Utah, Aug. 23, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser said two male suspects were spotted Thursday by a train conductor cutting strands of wire from utility poles along the railroad’s right-of-way, between railroad mile markers 505 and 506.25. Two strands of wire approximately 1.25 miles long were reportedly cut from the poles and taken from the scene in a black pickup truck by the two men, Schlosser added.

The estimated value of the stolen copper is approximately $17,000, Schlosser said.

Railroad workers spotted the suspects’ vehicle leaving the scene heading east on state Route 56. From there, it is believed to have gone south toward Enterprise and St. George. Based on the vehicle description, a possible suspect was identified, Schlosser said, adding the case was sent to Union Pacific Railroad Police for further follow-up.

Union Pacific Railroad spokesman Justin Jacobs said Monday railroad officials couldn’t yet comment about the case other than to say it is under active investigation and an officer has been assigned to the case.

Trespassing on railroad property is both dangerous and illegal. Anyone who sees suspicious activity near railroad tracks is asked to call the railroad’s 24-hour public hotline at 1-888-877-7267

Written by Jeff Richards for stgeorgeutah.com

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