Police are investigating a recent series of copper thefts from various locations in town in seeking to learn who has stolen the copper piping and wiring for its scrap value.
Police Captain Joe Rios told Police Commission members on May 6 that detectives have been investigating and have identified some suspects in the thefts.
Town police have been working with police from other law enforcement agencies in probing the thefts.
Police hope to make arrests through warrants, according to Capt Rios.
Police report they learned May 5 that unknown persons had been stealing an extensive amount of copper piping and copper wiring for an unknown period of time from Cochran House, a large vacant building at Fairfield Hills.
The multi-story 188,000-square-foot red-brick Cochran House at 21 Mile Hill Road South, which closed as a patient care facility in 1995, was the last major building to be constructed at the former state psychiatric hospital. The town-owned building is on the southern edge of the Fairfield Hills campus, adjacent to youth baseball fields.
The theft of the copper for its scrap-metal value may have been occurring during a period of weeks, police said. The theft appears to be case of first-degree larceny, which represents a loss value of more than $20,000.
Police said the town highway department reported the theft to them. The thieves apparently gained entry into the building through one of its many exterior doorways. Town workers secured the doorway after the theft was discovered.
In another recent copper theft, police said they learned on the morning on April 19 that two vacant houses near the intersection of South Main Street and Greenbriar Lane, which are for sale, were illegally entered by someone who stole the copper tubing from their heating systems.
Also on April 19, police learned that someone had illegally entered a vacant house for sale on Russett Road, near Gelding Hill Road, and ripped out the copper plumbing pipes that were installed in the building. The thief entered the building through an attached garage, police said.
Police have also reported that sometime during the overnight of April 6-7, someone burglarized and stole a large amount of copper piping from a vacant house for sale on Pole Bridge Road.
The thief or thieves forced entry into that house through a rear door and then stole the piping from the building’s heating system, police said.
Police ask anyone with knowledge of the copper thefts to contact them at the police station at 3 Main Street, telephone 203-426-5841.