Man dressed as construction worker to steal copper wires from highway light poles, police say

Man dressed as construction worker to steal copper wires from highway light poles, police say

(As originally published, Wed, November 22nd 2023, 4:48 PM EST)

MANCHESTER, Conn. (TND) — Police troopers noticed a suspicious U-Haul pickup truck parked on the shoulder of a highway and arrested the driver, who was reportedly impersonating a construction worker in order to steal.

Connecticut State Police said on Monday morning, they found John Seeley on the side of Interstate 384, east of Hartford.

They said he was dressed as a construction worker — with reflective gear and a hard hat — and he was pulling copper wires from state-owned light poles and putting them into the bed of the truck.

Troopers also noticed the license plate on the back of the truck “was obstructed from view with a piece of clothing, which [Seeley] removed prior to speaking with troopers.”

They said he explained “he was a sub-contractor hired to perform work in the area, but was unable to provide any documentation or information to verify his job assignment or employment.”

They called in a state Department of Transportation supervisor who told them “Seeley had not been hired by CT DOT and that no legitimate work was scheduled to be performed at that location.

Man dressed as construction worker to steal copper wires from highway light poles, police say
John Seeley was charged with 15 counts of first-degree criminal mischief and one count each of negligent use of a highway by a pedestrian, larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to display plates, and improper parking, Nov. 20, 2023. (Conn. State Police)

“CT DOT representatives advised investigators that several light poles with damaged or missing wire had been identified but indicated that a detailed inspection would be necessary to ascertain the full scope of the damage.”

Authorities said Seeley damaged state property to illegally remove copper wiring.

Seeley, 49, was charged with 15 counts of first-degree criminal mischief and one count each of negligent use of a highway by a pedestrian, larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to display plates, and improper parking.

His bail was set at $100,000.

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