Arrests made in Copper theft from Pott. County


May 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Two men from Omaha were arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the theft of copper from Center-Point Irrigation systems in the northwest part of Pottawattamie County. According to Sheriff Jeff Danker, the arrests followed a call early Tuesday morning from a farmer who received an alarm at around 4:40-a.m., from his two CPI units in the vicinity of 145th and Treasure Lane (about 3-miles south of the Interstate 29/I-680 split). Danker says deputies quickly responded and found a 1994 Dodge Intrepid with Nebraska plates, but no one around the vehicle.

The deputies discovered the Center Pivots had copper stripped-off. After a search of the area revealed no suspects, the vehicle was towed. About 3-hours later, deputies located an individual walking on the railroad train tracks in the same area, at about 145th and Desoto. Clifford Krings, 38, of Omaha, was brought to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning. A little more than 90-minutes later, 41-year old Scott Mohr, also of Omaha, the owner of the car, was located in the same area as Krings. Danker says a comparison of the mens’ footwear with impressions left in the area where the thefts occurred were similar. Both men were arrested on charges of Theft in the 2nd Degree and Criminal Mischief in the 2nd Degree.

Krings was being held this (Wednesday) morning in the Pott. County Jail on $5,300 bond, while Mohr was later released on a $5,000 bond. The Sheriff says the theft of copper from the Center Point irrigation system is just the latest in a string of such occurrences in the area devastated by last year’s flooding. He says there are no residences nearby, and the remote location makes it an easy target for thieves looking to steal copper wiring any chance they get. Danker said it costs about $5,000 to replace the wiring in just one of the CPI units, which is why the farmer who called them had an alarm system installed.