City of Phoenix worker arrested for stealing nearly $500,000 in copper tubing

Posted at 7:52 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 13:38:12-05

A former City of Phoenix employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $500,000 in copper tubing and selling it at scrap yards.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said officers working in cooperation with the City of Phoenix Water Department arrested 48-year-old Guadalupe Rincon for the thefts committed during his time with the city.  

Police say Rincon would create fake supply orders while working in the water department, and then take the copper to scrap yards for cash.  

The City of Phoenix Water Department first notified police of suspicious activity involving Rincon in August of 2016. Days later police say they followed him as he made a fraudulent work order, and took the copper to a scrap yard in Glendale. Rincon allegedly sold the copper in that one case for $26,000 dollars.  

Further investigation showed Rincon committed multiple thefts dating back to July of 2015 and used the money for personal travel, gifts, and other expensive purchases.   

Rincon was arrested Tuesday and faces 27 counts of theft, 27 counts of forgery and one count of fraud schemes. Police say it's believed that he acted alone in the crimes.   

Stay with ABC15 for updates.