Headingley RCMP have arrested two alleged thieves after the van they were in was spotted driving erratically on the Trans-Canada Highway at the Perimeter Highway in the RM of Headingley.
Police stopped the van and discovered the plates on it did not match the description of the vehicle. The driver of the van was also banned from driving.
A search of the van was conducted and officers found that it was full of stolen copper wire.
In recent years copper wire theft has been on the rise in the first half of 2015 there were six cases of wire theft; in 2016 three times that many thefts were reported during the same time period. so far in 2017, there have been 35 reported instances of copper wire being stolen in Manitoba.
Police know that the wire is often sold to scrap metal buyers.
In recent years Manitoba Hydro reported a number of wire thefts from locked facilities. Hydro was concerned not only with the monetary value but by the dangers posed when people break into substations looking for metal to steal.
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The 51-year-old driver of the van, Daniel Panko and his passenger, 36-year-old William Beaulieu both from Swan River were charged with Possession of Property Obtained by Crime. Panko was also charged with Driving While Prohibited.
Panko remains in custody.
Beaulieu was released pending a court date.
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