An electrician at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has been charged with stealing $125,000-worth of copper wire over a five year period.
Kipp Baldwin, 59, of Bloomington, was charged in Hennepin County with one count of theft by swindle on Tuesday.
An investigation by airport police found that Baldwin would often come to work on weekends even though his shift was Monday to Friday, with investigators noting he would drive the same Metropolitan Airports Commission truck from the building trades building to locations throughout the airport.
During one project last year that was being carried out by a contractor, Hunt Electric, Baldwin disguised himself as a Hunt worker by wearing an orange reflective vest and putting on a hardhat.
He then allegedly took scrap wire, removed the insulation, and hid the wire in boxes until he could remove it from the building and put it in the truck.
He would typically take the wire and other metal to scrap facility United Milwaukee, from which police obtained records showing he visited the facility 70 times between March 2015 and November 2019.
During that time, he received $145,722 in payments for the copper wire and other scrap metals he brought in.
"The facts discovered in this excellent investigation by Airport Police show that Mr. Baldwin went to great lengths to disguise himself and to hide the copper wire, which belonged to another company, in order to make thousands of dollars," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
"We already have informed the court that there are aggravating factors in these criminal acts so a judge could sentence above the guidelines, if we prove the case in court."