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Police make arrest in Tucson copper theft

TUCSON, Ariz. -- An employee of a subcontractor is facing charges for allegedly stealing copper wire from Tucson Electric Power Co.'s main power plant.

Police were initially called out to the plant last week after some 150 feet of new and scrap wire went missing. Detectives were able to find the stolen wire at a local scrap yard.

The discovery led detectives to 31-year-old Manuel Castaneda.

Authorities have accused him of scrapping more than 1,000 pounds of copper wire over four days. Over the past year, they say he has netted more than $13,000 by selling wire and various metals to scrap yards.

Police say Castaneda had access to the power plant property due to his position with a subcontractor that worked at the TEP plant.

Castaneda is facing theft and trafficking in stolen property charges.

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