A police search of a van near UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station early Saturday uncovered more than $100,000 in copper wiring, police said.
The van contained multiple coils of heavy industrial grade copper wiring and numerous tools and equipment for wire theft, all of which police believe were related to several days of thefts from a vacant Bay Campus building.
A police lieutenant first spotted the van parked in the 4600 block of Meade Avenue about 3:30 a.m. Saturday and became suspicious, Richmond police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.
As the lieutenant approached the vehicle, a suspect later identified as 38-year-old Brian Dhondt fled on foot. Dhondt, who is already on probation for wire theft, was apprehended a short time later and booked into jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property and several other charges, Abetkov said.
“It was determined the theft had been occurring over a few days and the estimated value was a least $100,000,” the police spokesperson said.
The Bay Campus campus is the site where UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory plan to build a massive research center.