Crime, Police/Fire

Maryland State Police arrest two, again, for copper wire thefts from light poles in Baltimore County

ROSEDALE, MD—Maryland State Police arrested two men on Wednesday morning in connection with the theft of copper wire from light poles along highways in Baltimore County.

The accused are identified as Joseph Wetzel, 45, and Mark Brunelle, 53, both of Brooklyn, MD. Each are charged with four counts of felony theft, five counts of malicious destruction of property, and one count of felony theft scheme $25,000-$100,000.

Wetzel is being held without bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center pending a bail review while Brunelle was released on a criminal summons.

The arrests come following a months-long investigation into copper wire thefts from light poles around I-695. According to a preliminary investigation, troopers from the Maryland State Police – Golden Ring Barrack arrested the suspects around 4:15 a.m. on Wednesday following a suspected theft of copper wire from a light pole at I-695 and Falls Road. Wetzel and Brunelle were taken into custody at the scene without incident.

Further investigation connected the suspects to at least three other similar thefts along I-695 since April. Investigators estimate the four suspected thefts caused $66,000 in damage. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration assisted Maryland State Police with the investigation.

Wetzel and Brunelle were charged in December 2019 with theft $1,500-$25,000, theft scheme $1,500-$25,000 and malicious destruction of property of more than $1,000 for similar copper wire thefts from light poles and jersey walls in Prince George’s County. The total cost to replace the copper removed in that case was approximately $400,000.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Golden Ring Barrack at 410-780-2700.

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