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2 arrested on suspicion of stealing copper wire

Tucson police arrested two men thought to be responsible for making some streets dark on the East Side, a department spokesman said Friday.

Troy Connes, 37, and Michael Sims, 41, were arrested Friday morning with copper wire in the back of their pickup truck, Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said. The vehicle was pulled over in the 6500 block of East Nicaragua Drive, near South Kolb Road and East Golf Links Road.

A patrol officer noticed the lids on nearby telephone poles’ utility boxes were missing and then saw a white pickup he remembered from a briefing, Pacheco said.

He remembered the truck because a resident of the neighborhood had twice called police about it.

Pacheco said the first time the caller mentioned it to police was March 19. The call was prompted by what seemed like tampering of the utility boxes near Golf Links and Kolb.

On March 26, the caller reported the truck again, that time giving a partial license plate number.

After the officer pulled over the men, detectives went to Connes’ house in the 4400 block of East Benson Highway, Pacheco said.

They found more evidence of copper theft there, he said. Detectives concluded at least $3,600 worth of wire was stolen.

The pair was charged with theft, aggravated criminal damage and tampering with a utility, all felony offenses, and booked into Pima County Jail, Pacheco said.

Streetlights in the neighborhood where the men were arrested have been at least partly unlit for months because the wire had been repeatedly stripped from the utility poles, Pacheco said.

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