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Neighbor’s tip leads police to two suspected copper thieves

NIAGARA FALLS – An alert neighbor who spotted two intruders in a Seventh Street home Saturday morning is credited with tipping off police, who foiled the theft of copper plumbing.

Charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and attempted petit larceny are Albert A. Torres-Roman, 18, of Michigan Avenue, and Jose C. Rivera, 21, of Fourth Street. Rivera was also charged with resisting arrest.

When police arrived at the home in the 500 block of Seventh Street, they apprehended one of the suspects as he tried to flee through the front door, then chased another through backyards before catching him a short distance away, police said. Officers said a rear window was broken out and and a door kicked down.

Police found about 150 feet of newly cut copper plumbing stacked in the basement, and water leaking from damaged lines.