Copper Thief Tells Cops He Didn't Know He Committed a Crime
A 28-year-old Peabody man arrested for breaking into a vacant commercial building and stealing copper told police he didn't know it was a crime.
Talk about your brazen copper thief.
A Peabody man told officers who apprehended him at the scene of the crime as he was climbing down from the roof of the building that he thought it was OK to scavenge inside for copper because it was a vacant property, according to police.
Bruce Pointer, 28, of 51 Bradford Rd., Peabody, was charged with receiving stolen property over $250, breaking and entering for a felony, possessing burglary tools, malicious or wanton damage to property and possession of a Class E substance. He was arraigned in Salem District Court on those charges Thursday morning. Bail was set at $5,000.
An officer had pulled into the parking lot after spotting a vehicle parked at 80 Newbury St. – formerly home to Tequila's, which closed last year – around 2 p.m. on Wednesday and was met by a repairman at the site. The man had just arrived to do some work there on behalf of Home Depot – the property owner (selectmen recently asked town officials to speak with Home Depot about securing the site and removing trash).
The worker said he noticed someone moving around inside and was about to call police.
Pointer then exited the building via the roof, apparently unaware of the police presence outside and ignorant to the fact that he just committed a crime, officers said. He was bringing a barrel full of copper to his car, which was parked at Home Depot.
Pointer was taken into custody and copper piping and multiple tools were found inside his car: a Sawzall, bolt cutters, hacksaw, pliers, cordless drill and bits, a pry bar and an electrical voltage tester.
Pointer told police he's a carpenter by trade.
Officers found extensive damage throughout the interior of the building and also some Suboxone, a narcotic medication, inside Pointer's vehicle.