Alleged copper thief nabbed at pawnshop |

Alleged copper thief nabbed at pawnshop

Andrew Cristancho
Sierra Sun

Last week police arrested a man accused of stealing almost 5,000 feet of copper wiring from a freeway utility box in Truckee.

John Douglas Murdock was taken into custody by Truckee police at a downtown Reno pawnshop Thursday while trying to pay off a power saw.

Truckee investigators cooperated with Washoe County sheriff’s personnel to post wanted posters and stake out a Reno neighborhood that includes three Metro pawnshops.

“We were in surveillance at one of Metro’s other pawn shops when [employees] at the Metro on Grove Street called us,” said Truckee Police Detective Bill Mardison.

According to Mardison, Murdock was identified as the suspect in two copper wire thefts off Interstate 80 this month, and perhaps several more in the Washoe County area.

Police were led to believe that Murdock was the culprit by evidence found at one of the crime scenes. Murdock was identified as a transient from the Reno area with no specific residence.

If convicted, the alleged copper thief could be responsible for repaying $14,000 worth of damage and lost metal, said Detective Mardison.