By Associated Press - Monday, October 1, 2018

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say they’ve arrested two men in connection with a rash of copper wire thefts in northwestern Indiana and neighboring communities in Illinois.

Police in Hammond, Indiana, say 30-year-old Jossean M. Echevarria of Hammond and 23-year-old Diquan N. Ray of Burnham, Illinois, were spotted early Friday coming out of the Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet City, Illinois. They were arrested in Hammond with a large amount of copper wire.

The men were jailed and it wasn’t known whether they had lawyers yet.

The Lake County prosecutor’s office has charged them with theft, but federal charges were being requested and police say others may be involved in the thefts.

Thefts have been reported from decorative light poles in Hammond, light poles at East Chicago athletic fields and in other communities.

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