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MASON CITY | A Mason City man is accused of breaking into the Holcim Cement plant three times this week and stealing copper wiring.

Justin Laroy Dutcher, 40, was arrested by Mason City police about 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning as he was leaving the plant, 1840 N. Federal Ave. 

“He had in his possession electrical wire and components that were identified as belonging to the business,” Mason City Police Lt. Rich Jensen said in a statement. 

Police said in a news release Dutcher entered the property around 4 a.m. Thursday, where he is accused of cutting and removing copper electrical wiring, switches and bus panels.

He was found in possession of those materials, as well as pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters and an inductive amplifier, which is used to detect voltage in wires, police said. 

“The property was identified by Holcim employees and shoe prints in the snow matched that of the defendant,” court documents said.

Dutcher was initially charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing and possession of burglary tools. Two additional charges of felony third-degree burglary were filed in connection with two other burglaries at Holcim Sunday and Monday. 

According to court documents, Dutcher is accused of cutting and removing approximately $2,000 worth of copper wiring, electric panel bus bars and other electrical materials.

“Officers collected evidence at the scene identifying the defendant,” the criminal complaint said.

Dutcher is being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on a $12,000 bond. No court date has been set.

The Holcim plant stopped production in 2009. Company officials say it is not closed but remains "mothballed," leaving open the possibility that it might reopen in the future. 

Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.

 

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