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November 8, 2012

Sandown man named as suspect in copper thefts

(Continued)

Hampstead Detective Robert Kelly worked with Lundquist on the investigation.

Two homes there — one for sale on Beverly Drive and one a bank foreclosure on Stage Road — were burglarized, Hampstead Lt. John Frazier said yesterday.

In addition to the theft of the cooper, the homes were damaged in the process, Frazier said of its removal. He said plumbing repairs on one home were estimated at $2,400. It was worse in the second house; plumbing repairs were about $2,800, but there was an additional $5,400 in damage to doors and ceilings.

He said his department is drafting arrest warrants for Willette. It’s the same story in Plaistow, where Detective Sgt. Glenn Miller said he anticipates Willette to be charged with burglary.

The owner of a vacant house listed for sale on East Road reported a burglary to Plaistow police on Oct. 20.

“The homeowner came to check house, noticed someone had entered and took the copper out of the cellar,” Miller said yesterday. “Copper is very expensive now. There was thousands of dollars in loss and damages.”

That was the only reported copper theft in Plaistow in recent months, Miller said, although he acknowledged there could be others that haven’t been discovered yet.

“He is a suspect,” he said of Willette. “We anticipate charging him. We are looking to complete warrants on him very shortly.”

Miller credited good police work by the Atkinson department.

“Atkinson did a fantastic job,” he said.

Caggiano said the methods and the crimes were the same in all cases.

“These houses, unfortunately, have for sale or foreclosed signs in front of them. People engaged in this type of activity look for those online or physically,” he said. “We see a spike in this type of crime when the price of metals increases. A large portion we’ve seen is related to chemical dependency. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it’s not like they’re doing it to pay off debt. Either it’s the economic times or chemical dependency, which is a strong factor.”

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