Evanston Police arrest 2 men found with copper piping

Evanston Police arrested Richard Latoria, pictured, and Ryan Hanley on Friday after finding the men with a plastic bags filled with severed copper down spouts. EPD is still determining whether or not the three copper thefts associated with these men are related to other copper thefts around the city in the past two months.

Courtesy of Evanston Police Department

Evanston Police arrested Richard Latoria, pictured, and Ryan Hanley on Friday after finding the men with a plastic bags filled with severed copper down spouts. EPD is still determining whether or not the three copper thefts associated with these men are related to other copper thefts around the city in the past two months.

Ciara McCarthy, Reporter

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Evanston Police tactical officers arrested two men Friday in connection with three different copper thefts, although it is unclear if these men are responsible for other incidents of copper theft in the past two months.

Police arrested Ryan Hanley of Chicago and Richard Latoria of Northlake, Ill., charging each with three counts of felony theft, according to a news release.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said officers were on patrol Friday when they observed Hanley and Latoria engaged in suspicious behavior in the 900 block of Chicago Avenue.

After observing the men, the officers conducted an investigative stop where they found Hanley and Latoria with two large plastic bags filled with severed pieces of copper down spouts, according to the release. The men used metal snips to remove the down spouts from residential buildings in the 900 block of Chicago Avenue, the 200 block of Main Street and the 500 block of Lee Street.

The three incidents are part of an uptick in copper thefts in Evanston since the beginning of the year. Thieves have stolen copper downspouts from St. Nicholas Parish, 806 Ridge Ave., several times this year, garnering about $10,000 worth of copper. St. Athanasius School, 2510 Ashland Ave., has also suffered multiple thefts of the valuable gutter pieces.

It is unknown if Hanley and Latoria are responsible for these earlier thefts.

“We can’t connect these arrests to (the copper thefts at St. Nicholas and St. Athanasius),” Parrott said. “They’re obviously very similar, but we’re still investigating.”

Hanley and Latoria are scheduled to appear in court on March 21.

— Ciara McCarthy

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