A Quincy man is in jail after police say he stole copper wire from a farm near Moses Lake Thursday night.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office reports it received a call from a farmer who said someone was trespassing on his property near Roads 18 Northeast and I Northeast at around 8 p.m.

Deputies responded and stopped a suspicious vehicle nearby driven by 41-year-old Joseph Byrd who was found in possession of heavy-duty pruning shears, sections of cut electrical wire, and copper fragments.

Detectives say a shoeprint left at the scene was also matched to shoes worn by Byrd, and surveillance footage showed his vehicle traveling a canal road adjacent to the site of the alleged theft.

Sheriff's spokesperson Kyle Foreman says the type of crime Byrd is accused of committing happens frequently in the rural areas of Grant County.

"The farmer in this case helped his own cause by setting up an alarm system to notify him when someone trespassed on his property. He also installed cameras, so now we have video evidence against Mr. Byrd."

The wire Byrd allegedly stole is valued at approximately $6,000 and came from an irrigation circle on the farm.

Foreman says criminals looking for copper wire will go to great lengths to steal it.

"Wire thieves will find any means to get to wire. We've seen pickup trucks with welding equipment in the back, cutting torches, and certainly a variety of hand implements such as a large pruning shear or a large electrical cable cutter."

Byrd was arrested and booked into the Grant County Jail on charges of attempted theft in the first degree and malicious mischief in the first degree.

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