A man faces charges after he was caught red-handed allegedly stealing a copper downspout from St. Mary of the Annunciation church early Monday morning.
James Richardson, 45, of 42 Summer St. in Danvers was charged with larceny over $250 and malicious damage.
There was another person with Richardson but they do not face charges, said Chief Neil Ouellette.
Danvers police were first alerted to the theft with a call from the church at 2:29 a.m.
When police got there they found a 20 foot piece of the church’s downspout on the sidewalk with nobody around it. So police waited in the area "and sure enough somebody returned," Ouellette said.
Police said they followed that person in their vehicle and they were stopped near 187 Maple St. That's when Richardson was arrested.
Taking part in the arrest were Officers Graig Lebrun, John Melto, Michael Balsley, Jay George and Sgt. Paul Stone.
Richardson was arraigned in Salem District Court on Monday. The outcome of the arraignment and his bail amount was not immediately available on Monday evening.
There have been several other copper thefts reported in Danvers in recent weeks, including two at St. John’s Prep plus Maple Street Congregational Church and a Danvers Historical Society property on Page Street, Ouellette.
"We've had multiple reports of it," he said.
This past weekend the Maple Street church reported damage to a 18 foot section of a downspout and a six foot long section of a downspout missing. Previously in December, St. John's Prep reported downspouts totalling $3,000 in value missing from Xavier Hall.
Richardson has not be charged in connection to any of those thefts, Ouellette said.
“We’re looking into it as we speak,” he said on Monday afternoon.