HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Two men arrested in connection with a rash of copper wire thefts in northwestern Indiana and neighboring communities in Illinois are now facing federal charges.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 30-year-old Jossean Echevarria of Hammond and 23-year-old Diquan Ray of Burnham, Illinois, are named in a criminal complaint charging them with interstate transportation of stolen property.

Police in Hammond, Indiana, say the men were spotted early Friday coming out of the Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet City, Illinois.

They were arrested in Hammond with a large amount of copper wire. They earlier faced charges filed in Lake County, Indiana. Court records Tuesday didn’t list lawyers for them.

Thefts have been reported from decorative light poles in Hammond, light poles at East Chicago athletic fields and in other communities.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

RELATED ARTICLES: 

UPDATE: Authorities Arrest Alleged Hammond Copper Thieves

Copper Thieves Targeting Lightpoles In Northwest Indiana

Bronzeville School Cancelled After Vandals Cut Copper Wiring Twice In Several Days