A 33-year-old transient who had read stories in local newspapers about copper thefts in the area thought he would try to take some himself, police say, but didn’t get much of the valuable metal before he was caught.
Michael Laurence Clay was arrested about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, moments after a Chandler police officer patrolled Espee Park, 450 E. Knox Road, and observed a man with tools used to remove copper wire from lights. Clay was arrested on suspicion of aggravated criminal damage and one count of trafficking in stolen property.
Police recently had stepped up patrols in Espee Park due to a copper wire theft on Monday. Police said Clay also admitted to stealing the copper wire from lights on Monday.
Clay was booked into a Maricopa County jail.