Pott. County Copper Wire Thieves Nabbed


November 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Pottawattamie County say three people have been nabbed in connection with the theft of copper wiring from a cell phone tower north of Council Bluffs. According to the Sheriff’s Department, 24-year old Jodi R. Huftless,  of Platts­mouth, Neb.,  32-year old April M. Hinman, of Pacific Junction, Iowa, and 31-year old David J. Jay, of Glenwood, Iowa, were arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of stealing copper from a U.S. Cellular phone tower. The trio  were charged with first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Authorities say at around 6-a.m., Saturday, a sheriff’s deputy stopped Dodge Durango SUV for speeding on River Road. The suspects were in the Durango, with Huftless driving. The deputy had also seen the sport utility vehicle enter the U.S. Cellular tower location. While speaking with the vehicle’s passengers, the deputy received an alarm call from the U.S. Cellular site.

A search of the Durango by deputies resulted in the discovery of industrial-sized bolt cutters, smaller bolt cutters and the copper wire. A representative from U.S. Cellular later matched the wire found in the vehicle to the tower site.  Authorities estimated the copper’s worth and damage to the cell tower at $12,000.