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DISTRICT

Girls put in trunk say they were playing

A D.C. man pleaded not guilty Monday in a Massachusetts court to reckless endangerment and assault charges for closing his daughters in a car trunk in 90-degree heat.

Michael Fekete’s attorney, Samuel M. Hausman, said that the two girls were in the trunk for only 30 seconds and that they were inside because they liked playing with a glow-in-the-dark release lever. Prosecutors said the girls were inside for five minutes.

Mr. Fekete, 48, was released without bail.

Mr. Fekete, a technology contractor for the Department of Justice, was visiting his mother in a nursing home in Foxborough, Mass., on Sunday when the girls, ages 9 and 11, were left in the Chevy Cobalt trunk.

His daughters told police that they liked going in the closed trunk “so they could play” with the release lever, according to a police report.

A witness called police when the girls were spotted climbing into the trunk. When police stopped the car, the girls were in the back seat.

Social service officials took the girls into custody, and they were later released to family members in Massachusetts. Mr. Fekete is scheduled to return to court Aug. 15.

VIRGINIA

BRISTOL

Police catch would-be copper wire thieves

Police arrested five persons early yesterday after setting up a surveillance operation to catch copper thieves at a recycling center.

Police records said an officer was stationed at Wise Recycling Center because of recent burglaries. A surveillance camera recorded the five suspects entering the center and rummaging through scrap copper shortly before 1 a.m.

When officers arrived, the suspects ran off but were apprehended a short time later. All were charged with theft and held without bail.

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