An Oak Bluffs man has been charged with larceny after allegedly stealing more than $5,000 worth of copper wiring from an Edgartown electric company.
Jose C. Dias, 39, of Oak Bluffs, was arraigned Dec. 5 in Edgartown district court on four counts of larceny more than $250. According to a police report filed in court by Edgartown Det. Michael Snowden, Edgartown police detectives spent the past month investigating the theft of copper wire from Schwab Electric, which is located near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport.
The alleged thefts took place between Oct. 18 and Nov. 29. Surveillance from the first incident showed a man wearing a hood that obscured his face, the police report said, and the investigation showed that the suspect was parking at a vacant lot next door to Schwab Electric and then taking a large amount of copper wire and dragging it through the woods back to the vacant lot. Detective Snowden said copper debris was found in the path he took.
The store upgraded its surveillance equipment so police could watch the copper pile through a live video feed on a computer or mobile device.
Further surveillance footage showed that the suspect was wearing Nike Shock shoes and perhaps driving a white Dodge Caravan, and during later incidents, the suspect was seen putting copper wire in red and black trash barrels. Detective Snowden said he allegedly entered the copper pile at 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving and spent about an hour filling barrels with wire.
On Dec. 1, police were called to Schwab Electric because of a report of a theft in progress. The suspect was gone by the time police arrived, the report said, but the police found barrels on the property and soon found a white Caravan nearby with nobody in it. The police used the car registration to locate Mr. Dias, the report said, and he soon came to the police station.
Detective Snowden said the police later contacted the Cody and Tobin scrap yard in New Bedford, where an employee said Mr. Dias allegedly visited the yard frequently. He allegedly received $1,138.65 for copper wire on Nov. 30.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9.