Copper stripped from farmers by thieves - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Copper stripped from farmers by thieves

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A spring surprise in fields around the Tri-Cities. Police say farmers are starting to realize copper has been stolen from their irrigation systems.

This past weekend Franklin County detectives arrested two more groups of people stealing copper. There have been 20 similar cases so far this year.  

"Farmers were going out to their fields to do some maintenance and finding out that their wire was missing," detective Lee Barrow said.

Detectives say for every 600 feet stolen, thieves are getting about $500 in return, but to get new wire costs farmers a couple thousand dollars.