Cops clip accused copper crooks

Seven people have been arrested in an investigation into several San Jose companies suspected of recycling stolen copper wire, a San Jose police spokeswoman said Thursday.

San Jose police and seven city, county and state agencies served three search warrants on the companies in an ongoing investigation into illegal processing and recycling of copper wire and other metals and materials, police Sgt. Heather Randol said.

After serving the warrant on the recycling businesses, officers recovered several thousand pounds of suspected copper wire, a large amount of cash, one loaded handgun and a small quantity of methamphetamine, Randol said.

The seven suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen copper wire, purchasing copper wire without identification and paying for recycled material without the required three-day hold, according to Randol.

The agencies involved in the copper wire theft operation with San Jose police included the Santa Clara County Special Enforcement Team, the California Department of Transportation in San Jose, the California Highway Patrol in San Jose, the state Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery, the state Department of Weights and Measures, the city of San Jose’s Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

— Jeff Burbank, Bay City News