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Two men have been charged over the theft of copper pipe from a commercial centre in Maylands.

Police allege that on December 14, the same month that police launched an investigation into the ongoing theft of large amounts of copper pipe, a man was taking the pipe and placing it in a vehicle.

The car was registered to a hire company and reported as stolen.

Yesterday, an off-duty officer allegedly spotted the vehicle in Clarkson. Police stopped the vehicle and apprehended its two occupants at Lakeside Shopping Centre.

A 41-year-old man, of no fixed address, has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle, two counts of stealing and attempting to steal. A 34-year-old woman has also been charged with stealing a motor vehicle. They will both appear in the Joondalup Magistrates Court today.