Weston police arrested two Stamford men for stealing copper piping from a house and in the process causing an oil spill in the Saugatuck River, according to The Weston Forum.
Police told The Weston Forum that the Weston Fire Department received a call on Friday, Dec. 28, from a resident on Valley Forge Road who complained about the smell of “gas.” When the Fire Department arrived, firefighters saw two men loading copper pipes into a vehicle from a house across the street at 153 Valley Forge Road.
Police were called to the scene and found two men stealing items from the house, including copper piping.
“Investigators say 37-year-old Jose Morales and his brother, 42-year-old Mauro Morales, stole copper piping from a home at 153 Valley Forge Road, inadvertently contaminating the Saugatuck River after they accidentally severed an oil line,” according to a report at connecticut.news12.com.
The men had apparently cut copper pipes in the basement that led to a fuel oil line, causing oil to leak into a drain that went under the road and into the Saugatuck River, according to The Weston Forum. The fuel oil caused the smell the neighbor complained about.
Police called the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for remediation and the oil was cleaned from the Saugatuck, the Forum reported.
“The Saugatuck River is known for its trout population, which experts say is among the healthiest in the country,” according to the News12 report.
José Morales and Mauro Morales were arrested at the scene and charged them with burglary, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief, larceny in the third degree, conspiracy, and violation of water pollution control requirements. They have a Jan. 7 court date.