3 Burlington men arrested in connection to Century Link wire theft
DES MOINES Co., Iowa (KWQC) - Three men have been arrested in connection to reports that began in December of vandalism and copper wire theft from Century Link.
Andrew Joseph Stout, 36, Christopher Bernard Oberlander, 33, and Troy William Phillips, 53, were arrested Friday on charges of criminal mischief and second-degree theft in connection to Century Link’s reports of vandalism and copper wire theft that began in Dec. 2022 and continued into January, according to a media release from Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office.
Century Link reported that the company’s poles had been cut down and wires were hanging from the intersection at 80 Avenue and DMC Highway 99 in December, according to the media release, and it was later determined that the wire was being cut and stolen from the poles for the purpose of stripping the copper wire.
Century Link reported several more thefts of wire in January, according to officers. At that time, the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office began to conduct surveillance operations near where these thefts were taking place.
Officers say through these surveillance operations, detectives were able to observe several individuals stealing copper wire from this area.
The individuals were stopped in a vehicle and identified, officers said. Arrest warrants were issued for the charges of criminal mischief and second-degree theft for the three men.
Stout, Oberlander and Phillips are being held at the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office on no bond warrants, according to the media release.
Officers say this is an ongoing investigation, and more charges are expected as more suspects are identified.
The Sheriff’s Office also issued a statement saying:
“The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office would like to make the public aware that there have been numerous thefts of copper wire, catalytic converters, and burglaries to outbuildings such as sheds, barns, and work sites in the past several months.
It is not uncommon for suspects to do their own surveillance during the day and nighttime hours to look for items to steal. The Sheriff’s Office would encourage anyone who sees suspicious activity or vehicles to call and report the incident as soon as possible,” stated the Sheriff’s Office.
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