Cops Catch Copper Crooks in the Act

copperwire.jpgOfficers in Brighton arrested two men early Saturday morning after they were observed breaking into a construction site and loading spools of copper wire valued at $5,000 into a car. Police believe the pair is responsible for at least two other break-ins at the same location that occurred in late June and early July during which large amounts of copper wire and copper tubing were taken. The thefts, which occurred at One Guest Street, the future home of WGBH, each took place during the overnight and was not discovered until the job site opened in the morning. On Saturday around 12:00am, police in District 14 set up surveillance of the job site using plainclothes police officers. Around 3:32am on Saturday officers observed two suspects inside the site stacking spools of copper wire next to a fence. The suspects then left the area and pulled up moments later in a white Mitsubishi Gallant and began loading the copper wire into the car. Officers, with the assistance of other officers waiting nearby, stopped the suspects on North Beacon Street. Officers recovered a total of 14 spools of copper wire, some in the trunk of the car, as well as three pairs of bolt cutters, a pipe cutter, other tools and a police scanner. Lawrence Arone, 37, of Belmont and Derek Distefano, 37, of Peabody both, were arrested at the scene. Distefano was charged with three counts of breaking and entering, possession of burglarious tools and receiving stolen property. Arone was charged with one count of Breaking and Entering, possession of burglarious tools and receiving stolen property. Arraignment was today in Brighton Court.