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.

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

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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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