WATERVILLE — Two men are scheduled to appear in court Nov. 12 after being arrested late Monday for allegedly breaking into a vacant School Street home and stealing copper piping.

Anthony Perkins, 27, of 960 West River Road, and Joseph Johnson, 25, of 17 Pine St., Apartment 1, are charged with burglary and theft in connection with the alleged theft.

Rumsey said police received information late Monday that a burglary had taken place or was ongoing at the School Street house.

Police were called around 10:30 p.m. Monday, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey, and officers were sent to the area. The police officers saw two men, later identified as Perkins and Johnson, playing basketball around 11:45 p.m. on the playground at Albert S. Hall School at School and Pleasant streets. The officers kept an eye on them while other officers searched the area, found a house on School Street that had been broken into and discovered that copper piping had been removed and left on the ground behind the house. Rumsey said a lock had been cut and the house was entered through a bulkhead leading to the basement.

“As that was happening, Perkins and Johnson began to leave the area on foot and when they did leave the area, an officer observed Perkins carrying a fabric shopping bag,” Rumsey said. “When the officers actually came up to them and detained them on Pleasant Street, they found that Perkins no longer was carrying the bag, so some of our units went in search of the bag and found it in a nearby driveway on Pleasant Street.”

It contained bolt cutters, pliers, rubber gloves, screwdrivers, wires and other burglary tools, according to Rumsey.

“Perkins had a flashlight on his person,” Rumsey said. “They were detained. Perkins was actually arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a charge of violating a condition of release out of Wiscasset District Court.”

Meanwhile, Detective Duane Cloutier went to the scene late Monday and was able to link both Perkins and Johnson to the burglary scene using physical evidence, and then they were both placed under arrest, Rumsey said.

He would not reveal what physical evidence led Cloutier to link them to the burglary.

In addition to being charged with class B felony burglary, Perkins also was charged with theft and possession of burglary tools. Johnson was charged with burglary, theft and violation of a condition of release. They were taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta and are scheduled to appear Nov. 12 in Kennebec County Superior Court. Perkins also is scheduled to appear Oct. 15 in Wiscasset District Court, according to Rumsey.

“These copper burglaries continue to be a problem for us,” Rumsey said. “They’re prevalent in buildings that are vacant, and so we encourage people who may be owners or caretakers of vacant buildings to check them regularly.”

He said police also ask that neighbors living next to or across the street from such vacant properties keep an eye on them and alert police to any suspicious activity there.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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