COPPER WIRE THEFT SUSPECT HELD ON $10,000 BAIL

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Thieves have disrupted CNMI electrical systems for years

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug. 29, 2011) – Superior Court Judge David A. Wiseman has imposed a $10,000 cash bail on Primo Kaainoa Ogarto, 30, who was arrested on the charge of theft of copper wire.

Officer Daniel Quitugua said authorities saw Ogarto acting suspiciously on Beach Road on the early morning of Friday, and when approached, the defendant ran away.

Other police officers accosted Ogarto who admitted committing the crime. Recovered from his possession was a cutter. Police found copper wires not far from the spot where Ogarto was first seen by authorities.

[PIR editor’s note: The theft of copper wire and sale to recycling companies has been a problem in the CNMI in recent years, since the economy hit hard times with the closure of the once-lucrative garment industry and the loss of Japan Airlines service, once a major factor in the tourist industry.]

Ogarto was remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections after the hearing.

Authorities said the lighting system along the pathway in the central Garapan area was disrupted as a result of Ogarto’s crime.

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