Two Dickinson residents are facing criminal theft charges after Dickinson Police Department detectives allege both are connected to several copper wire thefts in and around Dickinson, including approximately $8,500 in theft and damage to the property of two businesses.

Sean Richardson, 34, and Ryan Zastoupil, 41 have been charged with felony theft of property and two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. Bond hearings were placed Wednesday morning at Stark County District Court; Richardson’s was set at a $10,000 cash bond with a no-contact provision/agendum with the named businesses involved in these cases; and Zastoupil’s bond was settled at $5,000 with also a no-contact provision/agendum with the named businesses involved in these cases.

The DPD responded to a call of vandalism and theft from Fisher Industries, who reported vandalism and theft, just before 7 a.m. Monday. Authorities received a call from Dickinson Ready Mix at 10:42 a.m. of attempted theft where the individuals had tried to remove wire from an electrical panel, DPD Lt. Mike Hanel said.

The Southwest Narcotics Task Force and Stark County Sheriff’s Office were also there to assist with the operation, according to a DPD press release.

The two crime scenes featured similar characteristics and detectives believed they were related. Hanel noted that both, Richardson and Zastoupil, are known to law enforcement and have criminal backgrounds. In only a matter of a few hours, DPD detectives were able to pinpoint the individuals and obtain the arrest warrant for the two suspects in the 10th block of Seventh Avenue East. The search revealed stolen property belonging to the victim businesses as well as other related evidence.

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“This case broke open thanks to just some good, ole fashion police work by our detectives — a combination of a little bit of surveillance and just intuition led them to identify the suspects,” Hanel remarked.

With investigation still pending, Hanel said more charges could potentially emerge. In North Dakota, a class C felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, he added.

“Copper is recyclable material and it can be quite lucrative, so that is a common source of income for criminal enterprise,” Hanel said. “Scrap yards will accept copper and pay pretty good money for it.”

Zastoupil is also being charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia with a preliminary hearing and/or arraignment on Jan. 25.

Currently, Richardson and Zastoupil are being held at the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center until their preliminary hearings and/or arraignments, which are scheduled for Dec. 28 at Stark County District Court.