Willow homes evacuated and destroyed over the course of the Sockeye Fire have become targets for thieves, Alaska State Troopers say.

Thursday afternoon, AST’s Criminal Suppression Unit and Special Crimes Investigation Unit received a report of a copper wire theft from a property within the Sockeye Fire evacuation area, near mile 74 of the Parks Highway. A 30-year-old man from Talkeetna was identified as the suspect, troopers said, and investigation revealed he had also entered two other properties damaged by the fire, stealing copper wire and tubing, troopers said.

The thefts occurred between Wednesday and Thursday, and the stolen copper totaled $400-500. The man – who troopers have not yet identified publicly – faces charges of criminal trespassing and third-degree theft.

It wasn’t the first case of theft within the fire evacuation zone: Earlier this week, troopers had received another report of a burglary at a home off W. Sunnyslope Way. In that case, according to AST, the investigation is ongoing.

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