Would-Be Copper Thieves Caught Crawling Under Compton Home

COMPTON (CBS) — Police said two people they found crawling under an abandoned Compton home Saturday morning were there to steal copper.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home on Tamarind Avenue about 10:30 a.m., Lt. Art Chavez of the Compton sheriff’s station said. Deputies arriving on the scene heard voices coming from underneath the structure.

“Apparently the hidden suspects heard deputies asking for a sheriff’s (dog) unit and decided it was in their best interest to surrender,” Chavez said in a statement.

“In thefts like this, copper plumbing piping is taken from a home, then the thieves typically go to a recycling center where the material is sold as scrap,” Chavez said.

Two people found crawling underneath the home were arrested. They were identified as Guillermo Fraire, 19, and 18-year-old Michele Damato.

A third suspect, Fatima Alvaro, 25, who allegedly was waiting in the getaway car, also was taken into custody. The three were booked at the Century Regional Detention Facility for residential burglary. They are being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)



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