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Published April 16, 2013, 11:13 AM

Grand Forks link to Fargo copper theft

Three men arrested last week as suspects in copper thefts in Fargo now also are suspects in the early March copper theft from a Grand Forks business.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Three men arrested last week as suspects in copper thefts in Fargo now also are suspects in the early March copper theft from a Grand Forks business.

Luis Perez Jr., 34, of Moorhead, Elvis Hasimovic, 28, and Sabastijan Tahirovic, 20, both of Fargo, were arraigned Friday in state district court in Fargo on felony charges of burglary and theft alleging they took copper wiring from the Dakota Supply Group store in north Fargo April 7, according to state court records.

Tahirovic had been jailed in Fargo last week already in connection with a separate theft of copper wire from Rick Electric in Moorhead the same weekend, according to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.

Pauline Berg, branch manager of the Dakota Supply store in Fargo, told the Herald last week the theft at her store this month involved about 29,000 pounds of copper wiring worth about $120,000 at wholesale prices. Fargo police said it was the largest known single copper theft in the region.

At the Dakota Supply store in Grand Forks over the weekend of March 2-3, store officials said 13,233 pounds of copper wiring worth about $110,000 was stolen.

Ongoing investigation

According to the state’s attorney’s office in Fargo, Tahirovic last week told investigators he and the other two men had burglarized Dakota Supply in Fargo and Fargo Electric, as well as the Grand Forks store in March.

“They are suspects in our theft here … at Dakota Supply,” said Grand Forks Police Lt. Jim Remer. “We are working closely with Fargo investigators.”

According to court documents in the Fargo police investigation, the suspects rented a U-Haul truck and drove to Chicago and Madison, Wis., shortly after the Fargo theft. Fargo police found bolt cutters and pry bars in a car registered to Perez, according to a report in the Forum.

Dakota Supply officials in Grand Forks said the burglars had pried open a door to gain entrance to their warehouse last month in the Grand Forks Industrial Park west of Interstate 29.

Remer said the investigation is not over but that information could be turned over to the state’s attorney’s office in Grand Forks later this week for possible charges.

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