3 arrested in scrap-metal thefts in west Wichita

Three men trying to steal scrap metal from a west Wichita business were caught in the act and arrested Saturday night, police said.

The owner of Atlas Spring and Axle in the 4500 block of West Irving called 911 shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday and said burglars were breaking into his property and taking scrap metal, Lt. Doug Nolte said. The business had been hit by burglars several times in the past, prompting the owner to install surveillance cameras.

Video from those cameras convinced the owner the thieves were the same who had targeted his business in the past, Nolte said.

The suspects “were loading scrap metal from his business intended for recycling,” he said.

Officers arrived at the business and took the three men into custody. The value of the scrap metal they had loaded up was about $1,200, Nolte said. The stolen material was returned to the business.