Police caught an alleged copper thief red-handed, thanks to an alert tipster.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, a resident called police to report that a man was cutting the copper grounding wires from utility poles along Main Street. The caller provided police with a description of the suspect and his direction of travel. Investigating officers found the suspect, 42-year-old Brian Barrett, on the playground of Glendora Elementary School.
Barrett had a bag containing copper wire removed from three utility poles, along with tools used to remove the wires, police said. Barrett also had two bags of heroin and drug paraphernalia in his possession, according to police.
A check of the area by police revealed that the grounding wire on a fourth utility pole had been tampered with in an attempt to remove the wire.
Barrett, of Homestead Avenue in Stratford, was charged with criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of heroin. He was held in the Camden County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, with an option to post 10 percent.