Electrician sentenced to probation, restitution, home confinement for copper wire theft

Tuesday,

An electrician who stole copper wire at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was placed on probation for five years and during that time will be on electronic home monitoring for 160 days, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Kipp Baldwin, 60, had pleaded guilty in January to theft by swindle over $35,000 and filing a fraudulent tax return. At his sentencing Monday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel Moreno sentenced Baldwin to probation. Among his probation conditions are the home confinement and 120 days of Sentence-to-Service over the course of three years. The judge adopted the suggestion from the Metropolitan Airports Commission that Baldwin do electrical work for that part of the sentence. If Baldwin fails to follow the conditions, he could possibly be sentenced to more than three years in prison. Five other counts of filing false taxes were dismissed as part of the plea negotiation.

In addition, Baldwin was ordered to pay $54,337 to Hunt Electric, $5,946 to Minnesota Department of Revenue and $765 to the Metropolitan Airports Commission as restitution for his crimes.

Baldwin was an electrician employed by the airports commission. According to the criminal complaint, from at least 2015 to 2019, Baldwin would use his access to all parts of the airport to steal copper and other valuable metals. In 2019, Hunt Electric was hired by the airport commission to do a major rewiring and upgrade heating and air conditioning units. He stole wiring from that project, including brazenly removing a spool of new wiring.

In those five years, Baldwin made at least $125,000 selling the metals he stole from the airport. He also did not declare any of that income on his state income tax forms.

Prosecutors stated at the hearing that Baldwin was a public employee and violated the public’s trust by his thefts. In addition, he went to great lengths to hide his actions.