Man gets prison sentence for copper wire theft |

Man gets prison sentence for copper wire theft

Staff report
Jamie Gene Banks

A Carson City man was sent to prison on Monday for stealing copper wire from a power company.

Jamie Gene Banks, 35, received a prison sentence of 12 to 30 months for his role in the August theft of approximately 700 pounds of copper wire from Sierra Pacific Power Co. in Carson City.

Banks pleaded guilty in September to one count of Grand Larceny.

His accomplice, William Craig, 39, also pleaded guilty to grand larceny and faces sentencing on Oct. 29, 2007.

According to Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner, officials with Sierra Pacific contacted the Carson City Sheriff’s Department on the morning of Aug. 10 to report that a large quantity of copper had been stolen from utility trucks parked at their East Long Street facility.

Sheriff’s Deputies later received information that spools of copper wire had been found during a manager’s inspection of Banks’ East Long Street apartment.

Witnesses stated they saw Banks and co-defendant Craig carrying spools of copper into the apartment earlier that morning.

Both suspects later admitted they had climbed the fence into the power company’s yard and cut locks securing the copper spools to the company’s utility trucks.

They used Craig’s van to transport the 700 pounds of copper to the apartment.

They told investigators they intended to sell the copper, valued at nearly $3,000, to a Reno scrap yard.

“Thefts of copper wire, pipe, and other valuable commercial assets are on the rise all over Nevada,” said Carson City District Attorney Neil Rombardo in a news release. “This is not an opportunistic crime – thieves are intentionally targeting these businesses because they know the value of the materials they are stealing.

“These crimes are costing Nevada businesses and consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. My office is determined to send a message that this crime will be prosecuted to the fullest extent in Carson City.”

In addition to sentencing Banks to prison, Carson District Judge Todd Russell also ordered the defendant to pay $2,591 in restitution.