Four men have been detained by Central Division police in connection with the theft of a container filled with pure copper.
The suspects, of central Trinidad, were arrested by investigators after the 40-foot container disappeared from the home and business place of a licenced scrap metal dealer in Savonetta, Couva on Saturday night. According to police reports, around 8 pm the owner of the metal salvage dealership reported that his container and truck were missing. Officers from the Couva Police Station who were on mobile patrol in the area responded and noticed three men attempting to throw gasoline on a truck. Police said the men ran away from the vehicle upon spotting them.
Police later learned had the truck been stolen from the scrap dealer. However, the container with the metal was not recovered. Investigators said that the same team of officers, acting on a tip-off, on Wednesday night intercepted a flat-bed truck containing copper wire near Carlsen Field. The two occupants of the vehicle were said to have matched the description of two of the suspects from the first robbery and the men were detained. The men reportedly told investigators that they were en route to another scrap metal yard in Carlsen Field to sell some of their loot from Saturday’s robbery.
During a search of one of the suspects’ home in Couva yesterday police recovered the stolen container from Saturday’s incident which was in the process of being dismantled. Around 11 am yesterday the officers acting on further information went to the home of another scrap metal dealer at Thomas Drive, Sunshine Avenue, San Juan where they recovered more than $1.5 million worth of copper wire.
Checks with the owner of the Savonetta scrap yard revealed that both sets of recovered copper belonged to him. Two men who were found at the San Juan scrap yard were also detained by police. All four suspects were up to late yesterday under interrogation at the Couva Police Station. Senior investigators, however, noted that the arrests of other suspects were imminent. Investigators are working on the theory that the suspects were part of a group of unscrupulous scrap metal dealers who target their competitors. Involved in the exercise was Superintendent Johnny Abraham, Inspector Wayne Lawrence and Sgt Hosein.