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Copper thief fills truck with wire. Then it gets stuck in the mud, Utah police say

Travis Klett, 32, stole copper from Union Pacific railroad tracks in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah, before authorities found his flatbed truck full of stolen wire bogged down in the mud, deputies say.
Travis Klett, 32, stole copper from Union Pacific railroad tracks in Spanish Fork Canyon, Utah, before authorities found his flatbed truck full of stolen wire bogged down in the mud, deputies say. Utah County Sheriff's Office

It may have been the slowest getaway in history.

Utah County sheriff’s deputies called to investigate copper thefts in Spanish Fork Canyon found Travis Klett, 32, with a flatbed truck full of wire “badly stuck” in the mud, the Gephardt Daily reported.

The Springville, Utah, man appeared in court Tuesday to face charges of theft, criminal mischief and trespassing in the March 27 incident, the Deseret News reported.

Union Pacific workers had called deputies to report a lock on a gate had been cut and a flatbed truck had been spotted near the railroad tracks in the canyon, KSTU reported.

“The flatbed truck was badly stuck in mud and the suspect, who is the owner of the truck, was trying to get it out,” wrote sheriff’s officials in a statement, the Gephardt Daily reported. The wire, which had been strung along the tracks, was worth an estimated $500, officials said.

Klett denied cutting down the wire and told deputies he was cleaning up the canyon for a nonprofit agency, the Deseret News reported. He said he’d found a spool of wire beside the road and planned to sell it for cash, according to the publication.

Sometimes the “perfect crime” doesn't quite play out as intended. Here are some criminals who could use some practice.

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.


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