HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Two men charged in connection with a rash of copper wire thefts in northwestern Indiana and neighboring Illinois communities have pleaded guilty in the case.

The Post-Tribune reports 23-year-old Diquan Ray of Burnham, Illinois, and 30-year-old Jossean Echevarria of Hammond, Indiana, each agreed to plead guilty to one federal count of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Ray entered his plea Monday and Echevarria pleaded guilty Tuesday. Ray’s sentencing is August 6 and Echevarria’s is August 8.

Police have said the men were spotted in September coming out of the Cook County Forest Preserve in Calumet City, Illinois. They were arrested with a large amount of copper wire.

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

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