Scammers make off with 40,000 pounds of copper from City Light

SEATTLE -- Scammers representing themselves as members of the Cherokee Nation who just wanted a small amount of scrap copper for a nonprofit made off with 40,000 pounds of copper wire from Seattle City Light, according to the utility.

According to City Light, it was contacted by two suspects Tuesday who were then given access to its South Service Center in SODO.

Instead of the small amount of scrap copper they claimed to want, the suspects left with $120,000 worth of insulated scrap copper wire in two trucks, according to the utility.

Needless to say, the 40,000 pounds of stolen copper didn't go to a nonprofit for disabled children. Rather, it ended up at a metal recycling facility in Portland.

The Portland Police Department working with the Seattle Police Department recovered the stolen metal at the recycling facility and arrested two adults and two juveniles who were there with it.

"The swift work of the Seattle detective and supporting officers assigned to this case and from the Portland Police Department is impressive," City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said in a statement. "This is a fine example of interdepartmental cooperation at its best. The investigative team working on this case is top tier and I am very thankful for their exemplary efforts."

City Light is now taking a look at its security procedures and internal control processes to figure out how the suspects represented themselves that they could drive away from city property with four wooden pallets of stolen copper wire.