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By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Jan. 17) - Two men and one minor were arrested after they were caught in the act of stealing copper wire from the Saipan Mayor’s Office on Monday.

Arrested were Erwin Evence, 31, Jesus Lucas S. Peredo, 19, and a 16-year-old male.

It was the first time that the Department of Public Safety has arrested copper wire theft suspects.

Criminal Investigation Bureau Detectives George David and Jesse Dubrall caught them in possession of a large duffle bag containing wire.

Acting Department of Public Safety spokesman Sergeant Thomas Blas Jr. said that the suspects were headed to a recycling center when they were caught by the police officers.

Blas refused to identify the recycling center, saying the incident is still under investigation.

This reporter, however, learned that the suspects were planning to sell the stolen items to Triple Star Recycling Center in As Perdido.

An investigation revealed that the suspects had cut the phone lines at the mayor’s office in Chalan Kanoa.

An estimated 50 feet of wire was stolen by the suspects, police said.

Blas said they are now working on the arrest of other groups responsible for a series of copper wire thefts that have targeted government offices and commercial establishments since last year.

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