HAMMOND | Two men were arrested and accused of stealing 5,000 pounds of copper wire and a van from NIPSCO earlier this month, local authorities said.
According to an affidavit, Kenneth K. Ray, 19, and Carlos A. Echevarria, 21, along with an unidentified juvenile on Feb. 2 took a van that still had the keys inside from the NIPSCO substation in Hammond.
The men backed into another truck and moved 5,000 pounds of copper wire from the truck to the van, according to the affidavit. NIPSCO workers found the truck Feb. 4 at 1400 Frontage Road in Gary.
The men were seen at an auto yard trying to sell the copper wire, according to the affidavit.
Echevarria, of Hammond, and Ray gave Gary police officers conflicting accounts about how they got the copper.
Echevarria and Ray were charged with receiving stolen property.