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Two men accused of burglarizing Butte area gold mine

Posted at 3:07 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-14 18:55:17-04

BUTTE – Police responded to the Highland Mine in the Highland Mountains about 8 p.m. Sunday when a caretaker at the mine yard detained two men, Gary Rubusch and Ryan Hansen.

Police accuse the two men of illegally entering the mine yard and breaking into buildings in order to steal copper wiring and other items inside the mine yard. Police say the caretaker was at the mine yard Sunday evening taking inventory from a previous theft the night before. He became suspicious when he saw a truck prowling the area.

“They’re lucky he was still up there working. He noticed some suspicious people in the area, hung around the area until he saw them enter the mine yard and approached them and kept them in the mine yard until we arrived,” said Butte Undersheriff George Skuletich.

Police suspect the two men were going to sell the copper wiring that was stolen from the mine yard.

“What they do is burn the insulation off the copper wire and take the copper wire to some of the metal shops in town and try to sell it,” Skuletich said.

Rubusch remains in jail Monday on felony charges of burglary and criminal mischief and Hansen was released early Monday on misdemeanor criminal trespass to property.

BUTTE – Butte police are looking for the person responsible for deliberately driving a truck through a barrier at Big Butte.

The incident was captured on cell phone video, showing a truck drive through the chain barrier earlier this week which blocks access to the overlook on Big Butte just before the Big M.

The city recently blocked motor vehicle access to the overlook because it has been littered with junk and drug paraphernalia. City officials are upset by this deliberate vandalism.

“It’s destruction of property, it’s labor, it’s materials, it’s all the things so every time we have to repair something in our parks it takes away from something else that we could put that money toward,” said Parks and Recreation Director JP Gallagher.

Anyone with information on this vandalism is asked to contact Officer Ryan Hardy at 497-1178.

John Emeigh reporting for MTN