Alleged copper thief not yet charged
A homeless man is being investigated after he was arrested with bolt cutters
A 47-year-old homeless man, arrested on various offenses for allegedly stealing copper wiring from a utility pole in Hawaii Kai last week, has not yet been charged.
The man made his initial appearance in court yesterday, but the case was continued to 8 a.m. Thursday on a trespassing offense, a misdemeanor.
Felony charges are still pending further investigation, said Jim Fulton, spokesman for the city Prosecutor's Office.
The man was arrested Friday after police caught him with bolt cutters and several other tools at 7:30 a.m. near the Koko Head District Park's maintenance building.
The man also allegedly cut down telephone wiring and a utility pole, causing damages of more than $4,000.
Officers also found several rolls of electrical copper wiring in various sizes inside the bed of the man's truck, police said.
The man remains in custody since he was unable to post $1,000 bail, Fulton said.
Police arrested him Friday on suspicion of fourth-degree theft, second-degree trespassing, second-degree criminal property damage and first-degree criminal tampering, and his truck was forfeited.
Criminal tampering is a misdemeanor "with intent to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or institution providing health or safety protection," Fulton said.
Because the downed utility pole contained a transformer, there was concern it might have leaked contaminants.
A Honolulu Fire Department hazardous materials team decontaminated the suspect and officers on scene for possible exposure to PCBs, chemicals that could cause cancer and serious non-cancer health effects, by washing them down with soap and water.
No contaminants were present, fire officials said.