CenterPoint employee catches alleged copper thieves in the act

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 5:24 PM

Copper theft

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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- A CenterPoint Energy employee caught a trio of copper theft suspects in the act overnight, according to deputies.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrested three men after they broke into a building on the county’s north side. It was shortly before midnight Monday when they were called to a strip center in the 2200 block of W. FM 1960.

The sheriff’s office said a CenterPoint employee was checking electrical boxes and power connections when he noticed they had been tampered with. The worker then heard noises coming from inside the building.

Deputies were called to the scene and they too heard the noises. Moments later, they saw several suspects trying to flee. The men busted out the front glass of one of the storefronts as they tried to get away.

One of the suspects was arrested at the location. Two others fled on foot, but they were later apprehended despite their 20- to 30-foot-jump from a nearby overpass.

The three suspects were identified as David Penate, 29; Dimas Alvarenga-Quintanilla, 27; Jeronimo Avelar-Dubon, 32.

All three were charged with evading arrest and burglary of a building.

It was believed the men got into the strip center by breaking through the roof of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

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