2 Aurora Men Charged in Copper Thefts

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Byline: Marie Wilson mwilson@dailyherald.com

Two Aurora men are facing almost four dozen charges for stealing more than $39,000 worth of copper piping from vacant Aurora homes in a string of burglaries dating to Aug. 8, authorities said Wednesday.

Armando Salazar, 50, of the 700 block of East Galena Boulevard, and Ramon R. Mendoza, 39, of the 400 block of West New York Street, were arrested Jan. 17 by community-oriented policing officers who received tips saying the men were responsible for several copper thefts.

Police said the men were arrested when officers saw them carrying copper tubing from a home on the 300 block of North Union Street. Police have said thieves look to steal copper to sell to scrap dealers. The metal can bring in between $3 and $4 a pound, according to online price estimates.

Salazar was charged with 13 counts of felony criminal damage to property, 12 counts of burglary and one count each of residential burglary and felony theft, authorities said.

Authorities said an investigation found Salazar stole copper from a home on the 700 block of East Galena Boulevard, along with homes on the 0-99 block of South State Street; the 0-99 block of North Union Street; the 100 block of South State Street; the 200 block of South Union Street; the 300 block of West New York Street; the 400 block of High Street; the 500 block of East Galena Boulevard; the 700 block of East Downer Place; and the 700 block of Spring Street. …