DETROIT (WWJ)  – An alleged copper thief is behind bars after he was caught in the act.

Michigan state police say 51-year old Robert Doyle was allegedly stealing copper wiring from light poles in the area of I-75 and Riopelle on Detroit’s east side when detectives caught him at around 1 a.m. Saturday,

State Police and the Michigan Department of Transportation have been investigating ongoing metal thefts in the area.

It’s believed Doyle is one of many who have been swiping copper from light poles on area freeways and neighborhoods, knocking out power to lights and MDOT traffic cameras.

“The State Police will aggressively seek to arrest and prosecute anyone who is responsible for stealing copper from any State of Michigan facility,” said State Police Lt. Michael Shaw in a statement. “Not only is this extremely dangerous to the persons responsible for these thefts, it is also very costly to Michigan taxpayers and makes driving on the freeway system at night more dangerous.”

Doyle was arraigned Wednesday on malicious destruction of property and other charges. He’s being held on a $25,000 bond at the Detroit Detention Center pending a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 3.

“The arrest of this individual sends a clear signal that this unlawful behavior will not be tolerated,” said MDOT spokesman Rob Morosi.

Michigan State Police ask that anyone that has any information on copper thefts on state property to call the Metro Post Tip Line at 248-584-5530.


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