News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Sea-Tac Airport Copper Thief Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Public Property

Thousands of Feet of Copper Wire Stolen from Light Tower

October 18, 2013

A repeat offender who stole thousands of feet of copper wire from runway light towers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport pleaded guilty October 17, 2013 to theft of public property, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  TIMOTHY LYNCH, 50, faces up to ten years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge James L. Robart on January 13, 2014.

According to records file in the case, the theft was discovered on February 12, 2013, when a Port of Seattle employee noticed damage to the fence surrounding the runway light structures near South 188th Street and Des Moines Memorial Drive.  In total, approximately 7,200 feet of copper cable was stolen from Federal Aviation Administration towers, rendering them inoperable and potentially posing a threat to airline safety.  LYNCH admits that he entered a secured area of Sea-Tac airport and removed copper cable connected to the light towers.  Replacing the copper wire and repairs to damages cost the FAA more than $30,000.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the parties will recommend that the Court sentence Lynch to 30 months in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force which includes officers from the Port of Seattle Police Department, the Seattle Police Department and the King County Sheriff’s Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Executive Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Bates.


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