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Medford man charged with stealing copper from T signals in Brookline

Posted by Matt Byrne  September 21, 2012 10:11 AM

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Transit Police in Brookline arrested a Medford man early Friday morning near the Brookline Village Station for allegedly cutting apart copper wire from the Green Line's signal system.

MBTA_O'NEIL ROBERT.jpgRobert O'Neil, 43, was found attempting to exit the track-bed area walking "stiff-legged," according to Transit Police. Concealed in his pant leg, officers found cable cutters and work gloves.

Near the area where witnesses first reported the man identified as O'Neil, T police found sections of copper signal wire cut into 5-foot sections.

Joseph Pesaturo, spokesman for the T, said workers inspected the section of track where O'Neil was found and performed repairs to the signal system before train service began.

O'Neil was charged with larceny over $250 and vandalizing a railroad signal, and is expected to be arraigned Friday in Brookline District Court. Copper is a common but valuable metal that can be exchanged for cash at salvage yards and metal recycling centers.

Matt Byrne can be reached at mbyrne.globe@gmail.com.

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