Albuquerque copper thief to serve three months behind bars


An Albuquerque man who stole thousands of pounds of copper wire from the city will serve just three months behind bars.

Last summer, Casey Chavez stole 13,700 pounds of copper wire from street lamps and sold it at local recycling yards. The city says that left $85,000 in damage.

Tuesday in court, Judge Daniel Ramczyk sentenced Chavez to three months in jail and nine months of house arrest. “If I don’t punish you, then maybe other people will get the same idea that they can go rip copper off and create havoc across the city,” said Judge Ramczyk.

Police say Chavez stole the wire to support a drug habit. As part of his probation, Chavez will routinely be drug tested. He’s also required to pay $85,000 in restitution to the city, a number the judge says he’ll likely never reach. 

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