Westar Energy employees spot man stealing copper wire

Westar Energy employees monitoring video surveillance of one of their properties spotted a man stealing copper wire from the site early Tuesday morning, Wichita police said, leading to the man’s arrest within minutes.

The theft was reported at 3:20 a.m. in the 1900 block of East Central, Capt. Doug Nolte said. That’s just east of I-135.

A 53-year-old man was found near Westar’s property with about 75 pounds of copper wire, Nolte said. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.

“Westar Energy did a great job working with the police department to coordinate” finding the suspect, Nolte said.

“They were watching it as it was occurring” and notified police, he said.

Westar spokeswoman Gina Penzig declined to say how many Westar properties are protected by staffed surveillance.

“Westar employs various means to secure its locations and works with local law enforcement,” Penzig said in an e-mail response to questions.