Las Vegas metal recycling companies react to purchasing copper wire from suspected thief

LVMPD says suspect sold wire to the companies
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officials say copper wire theft suspect Brian Welch made more than 300 scrap metal transactions.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:25 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officials say copper wire theft suspect Brian Welch made more than 300 scrap metal transactions. And say copper wire theft suspect John Werns made more than 70 transactions. Arrest documents show Werns primarily sold metal to two local recycling businesses.

FOX5 isn’t naming the companies because buying scrap isn’t illegal, but we did ask one company about being named in arrest documents for buying scrap from a copper wire theft suspect, among several other questions.

This is the company’s reply:

A second recycling business named in arrest documents refused to comment.

LVMPD officials say metal recycling businesses have not only helped uncover theft suspects but helped in its recent investigations by a newly formed copper wire theft task force. It includes information sharing between LVMPD and Henderson and North Las Vegas Police Departments. Metro credits the task for the arrests of Brian Welch, John Werns and Rueben Montejano. They say Welch was stealing copper wire from Clark County street lights, resulting in more than $100,000 in repairs. Police say Werns and Montejano caused thousands of dollars in damage after stealing copper wire from cell phone towers.