SALEM, N.H. — Police found a pile of copper tubing in the driveway at 125 Porcupine Circle — and water and fuel oil leaking in the basement from freshly cut pipes.
They also found Theodore Herbert, 22, of Salem, N.H., and Philip Smith, 21, of Haverhill, Mass.
Someone called police at 10 a.m. yesterday to report suspicious activity at the vacant home, Capt. James Chase said.
The caller said two men were entering a window at the rear of the house.
When police arrived, they found Hebert and Smith in the driveway, not far from the copper pipes. The two men were detained wile police investigated further, Chase said.
There was a strong smell of fuel oil — from the suspects and in the basement. Police discovered someone had tried to plug the fuel tank with a screwdriver after the pipes had been cut. Water was dripping from freshly cut pipes in the same area, Chase said.
Firefighters were called to what became a hazardous materials scene, Chase said, although not much fuel leaked out. Neighbors were evacuated briefly as a precaution, he said.
Herbert and Smith were taken to the station, both smelling strongly of fuel oil, Chase said.
Herbert was charged with burglary and criminal mischief. Smith was charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief.
There were two electronic bench warrants for Smith from Salem for failure to appear on earlier charges. The criminal mischief charges were the result of damage to a door at the back of the house.
Smith refused the services of a bail commissioner and was taken to the county jail.
Herbert went there, too, for lack of $5,000 cash bail.
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