, Muskogee, OK

October 16, 2012

Thieves target copper

Nearly a ton of cable stolen at Wagoner shop

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

WAGONER — Standing in what normally would have been a bustling work area, David Scott searched through piles of cables.

Scott is a manager at SC Piping & Mechanical, in Wagoner. The business was recently targeted by thieves who cut and stole an estimated 2,000 pounds of cable off machinery there.

“Some of those wires are 125 feet long,” Scott said. “And they’ll be as big around as your thumb.”

Scott was doing inventory of some items the thieves left behind, including some cables cut from machines but left on the now mostly vacant work floor.

“Normally, we wouldn’t even be able to hear each other,” Scott said. “It would be so loud in here from all the work going on.”

Steve Costigan, SC Piping & Mechanical owner, said the thieves entered the building at some point during the weekend and cut copper wires off of at least 16 welding machines.

“Those machines were loaded on a truck and sent to Tulsa for repairs,” Costigan said.

Wagoner Police Chief Bob Haley said the department has an open investigation into who damaged and took the equipment.

A handful of the plant’s 25 hourly employees were at work Tuesday. Some, Scott said, were cleaning up and repainting safety lines.

“One of our guys has some welding equipment on the back of his truck,” Scott said. “So we’re renting it from him to get at least some work done.”

Costigan said between the damage to machines, missing equipment, and lost productivity, the plant will likely be out more than $100,000. Some of the more valuable stolen items were worth more than $2,000 each.

“We’ve got parts here being shipped to Abu Dhabi, Egypt, California,” Costigan said. “Right now we’re at a standstill on a lot of our welding projects.”

Scott said the plant would likely be closed in some capacity for more than a week while they await the repair of some of the welding machines.

“We’ll keep getting the machines back as they are ready,” Scott said. “But we won’t be back at full power for a while.”

Plant managers have warned area scrap yards about the missing material, but they agree it will likely end up in Tulsa.

“We’ve been calling the people we can, telling them to keep an eye open,” Scott said. “Hopefully, something turns up.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth

You can help

If you have any information regarding the theft of tools and cables from SC Piping & Mechanical, in Wagoner, call the Wagoner Police Department at (918) 485-5511.