East Hampton Police report that two suspects have been arrested in connection with alleged thefts of copper from the Second Congregational Church.
Police say that on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 2:53 a.m., Officer David Gionfriddo responded to a citizen’s tip about suspicious activity at the Second Congregational Church at 52 Middle Haddam Road in East Hampton.
Police say a neighbor reported seeing people walking around the church, “and thought that criminal activity might be afoot.”
Upon arrival, Officer Gionfriddo found that copper gutters had been pulled off the church’s exterior and were crushed up and piled on the ground.
Also found was a large backpack full of copper pieces from the church.
Police say no suspects were located at the scene, “but it was obvious that an attempt had been made to steal the copper material from the church.”
Approximately 45 minutes later, Officer Gionfriddo was dispatched to Cobalt Lodge at 29 Middle Haddam Road in response to a report of a “suspicious” person.
Staff members at Cobalt Lodge reported that “a suspicious female” had stopped at the lodge and asked for directions; she claimed to have been abandoned by her boyfriend.
Police say the woman, Nicole LaPlante, 19, of 41 Old Middletown Ave., East Hampton, CT was later located by Officer John Wilson on Route 66.
Police say that, “Upon interviewing the woman, she confessed to her involvement in the attempted theft of the copper from the Second Congregational Church and also implicated her boyfriend, Frederick Dart.”
Dart, 24, currently resides at the Riverdale Motel, Route 66, in Portland, according to the police report.
LaPlante was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, Larceny 6th Degree and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny 6th Degree. She was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond.
The officers later located Dart at the Riverdale Motel and he was arrested.
Dart was also charged with Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, Larceny 6th Degree, and Conspiracy to Commit Larceny 6th Degree. He was released after posting a $10,000 surety bond with the aid of a bondsman.
Both LaPlante and Dart are scheduled to appear in Middlesex Superior Court to answer to their charges on July 31, 2012.
Posted July 23, 2012 – based on a press release issued by the East Hampton CT Police Department
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