They lost their homes to Tropical Storm Irene. Now, six East Haven homeowners are victims again after criminals targeted their properties.
Officers caught Robert Camposano and Frank Ianniello in the act stealing copper pipes from six condemned beach-front houses along Cosey Beach Avenue Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
The two were pretending to be part of the volunteer effort aimed at helping affected residents get back on their feet, according to police.
An officer who was part of extra patrols deployed to that area after the storm saw them acting suspiciously between two of the houses and ran after them.
He could hear the sound of copper pipes banging together as they tried to get away, according to the police incident report. The suspects dropped the pipes on the beach and continued running, according to the police report. They were caught moments later.
Police found footprints in the sand leading to each of the six targeted homes, according to the police report.
They also found ten pieces of copper in a pile where they suspects dropped them. The pipes weighed about ten pounds.
"You have certain individuals that capitalize, they're opportunists, and unfortunately these type of individuals don't care about other people's grief," said Acting Police Chief Gaetano Nappi.
Besides increasing patrols after the storm, the town also enacted a two month curfew banning pedestrians and vehicle traffic on affected streets from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
"They have the nerve to come down here and steal from these poor people who some of them have nothing. It's just a shame," said Trina Izaguirre, who lives across the street from the targeted homes.
The two suspects appeared in New Haven Superior Court Wednesday morning. The judge set their bonds at $15,000. They will be back in court later this month.