Pierce County prosecutors have charged a former Puget Sound Energy employee with two counts of first-degree theft for allegedly stealing more than $32,000 in copper wire from a secured company yard in Puyallup.
Jacob Smith, 28, is to be arraigned March 13.
Puget Sound Energy said it fired Smith after a private security investigator discovered evidence he was behind the 11 thefts, which included 16,650 feet of copper wire taken in November and December 2014.
Utility officials reported the thefts to the Sheriff’s Department in December.
They told a deputy the theft probably was “an inside job” because the stolen wire was kept behind secured gates that had an alarm and surveillance equipment, according to charging papers.
A private investigator found Smith used his company access card after-hours about the time some of the wire went missing, and surveillance footage showed his truck in the area.
“Some of the video showed the defendant loading reels of copper wire onto his truck and then driving out of the storage yard,” court records state.
Prosecutors pointed out that in one of the videos, the thief could not be identified.