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Published: August 14, 2008 11:43 pm ShareThisPrintThis
Newbury man charged in thefts
By dan atkinson
Staff writer

NEWBURYPORT - A Newbury man has been charged with stealing a massive amount of copper wire valued at more than $65,000 from local marinas earlier this year.
Thomas Knight, 26, of 31 Low St., was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property of more than $250. He is being held on $10,000 cash bail and had a 60-day warning for prior offenses revoked, according to documents at Newburyport District Court.
Knight was a tenant at 333 Merrimac St. in Newburyport from August 2007 until his eviction in mid-April, according to court documents. Later in April, the North End Boat Club and the Newburyport Boat Basin - the latter located across the street from Knight's apartment - both reported copper and electrical wire thefts that were believed to have taken place over the winter.
Two weeks ago, police discovered more than 3,000 feet of copper wire sheathing, but none of the actual wire, in a hidden basement at 333 Merrimac St. They traced the sheathing to wire stolen from the two Newburyport marinas, according to police reports. An "extremely rare" sheathing used at the boat club was reportedly found in the house.
The Newburyport Boat Club had reported 420 feet of wire stolen, and the Newburyport Boat Basin reported more than 5,000 feet stolen.
Neighbors told police they had seen Knight unloading wire from his truck in the early morning and other cars coming and going from the house, according to police reports. Upon searching the premises, investigators had to pull floorboards to access the mass of cable sheathing, which filled the back of a Public Works dump truck.
Police issued a warrant for Knight on Aug. 5, and he turned himself in through his attorney on Wednesday, according to Inspector Brian Brunault.
Brunault believes Knight may have unloaded some of the wiring at N.A. Nichols Inc., an Amesbury company that deals in scrap metal. Copper currently sells for about $3.70 a pound.
Copper thieves have targeted marinas for their lengths of electrical cable, and the Newburyport Yacht Club and Amesbury's Hatter's Point Marina were also burglarized over the winter. Brunault said it is unclear whether Knight acted on his own, and the investigation is ongoing.
Knight has a status review hearing on Sept. 19. He had previously been released on bail on charges of driving without a license and shoplifting, and was charged in June with possession of heroin, according to police reports.
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