Man arrested for copper theft from new housing development

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A Chandler man is in jail after police caught him with drug paraphernalia and stolen copper wiring.

Michael Patrick Largy was arrested very early Thursday morning after police spotted him jumping a fence at a new Fulton Ranch housing development south of Ocotillo Road. There had been several copper and metal thefts at the development and police wanted to know what Largy was doing there at 1 a.m.

While talking to Largy, officers found that he was carrying drug paraphernalia, burglary tools and stolen property, including copper wiring.

Police later talked to Largy's girlfriend, Cynthia Georgia Kavuma. She was in a car at the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Ocotillo Road. Police said she also had drug paraphernalia and several metal fittings.

Investigators believe Largy and Kavuma planned to scrap the fittings later in the day.

Detectives believe Largy is responsible for at least one other burglary at the development.

Metal theft, especially copper theft, has been an increasing problem, costing Arizonans millions of dollars each year.

The problem is such that a special task force was created to develop new legislation and initiatives to deal with it.

As of Jan. 1, all businesses in Arizona that are in the business of trading in scrap metal are required to enter transactions into the AzDPS LeadsOnline system.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Rep. Tom Forese, Sgt. Theresa Clark, Michael Pollack and others will gathered Wednesday to discuss new measures to fight copper theft.

Largy was booked into Maricopa County Jail on a variety of charges, including burglary and trafficking stolen property.

Kavuma was released pending further investigation.