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Published March 07, 2013, 05:37 PM

Largest Copper Theft in Grand Forks History

The largest copper theft in the history of Grand Forks occurred this week at Dakota Supply Group. More than $110,000 worth of copper wire was stolen out of the wholesale supply warehouse this week and employees believe the thieves used a forklift.

The largest copper theft in the history of Grand Forks occurred this week at Dakota Supply Group. More than $110,000 worth of copper wire was stolen out of the wholesale supply warehouse this week and employees believe the thieves used a forklift.

Employees we spoke with today are shocked, confused and angry.

John Russel, Dakota Supply Group: "It's been happening in different places, just never expected it to happen to us."

It happened this week at Dakota Supply Group, a wholesale supplier of electrical equipment. Employee Keith Jones noticed something was off when he got to work Monday morning. Keith: "As you realize that you were stolen from it's that violation feeling but then also you kind of get mad."

It's not just the high value that has employees concerned.

John: "Usually they hit the contractors, the smaller facilities, this is the first time they've hit a distributor."

Employees estimate it took at least two people to steel more than 13,000 pounds of copper, and they weren't amateurs. John: "They strictly stuck with the high value copper."

Grand Forks police say there's a trend happening with copper theft.

LaVonne Nelson, Grand Forks Police: "Copper wire is a value right now. It's worth a lot of money. And now construction season is starting up again, so copper wire is being used more often."

The case is still under investigation, but employees have a message for the unknown thieves.

John: "Come on back, we'll be ready for you."

Employees say they will be installing cameras and other security measures in the near future. As far as tracking the stolen copper, there really isn't a way to tell where the copper you buy comes from, but police say to only deal with reputable sellers and not buy product at a cost that may sound too good to be true.

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