Police: Man Ousts Himself in Scrap Metal Theft

Officers arrived at a Spring Street business this week and learned a man had accidentally called 911 while crawling under a fence to allegedly steal scrap metal.

Life lesson – if you are planning on trespassing, you might want to remove your phone from your pants pocket before crawling under a fence.

A Southington man is facing charges after police said he accidentally called 911 early Thursday morning while attempting to steal scrap metal from a local Spring Street business. Police said he dialed dispatchers while crawling under a fence.

“When officers responded, they were originally thinking that the call coming in was a medical because dispatchers could only hear rustling on the other end,” said Sgt. Lowell DePalma. “They arrived and found him crawling out from underneath a fence.”

Michael Gorneau, 46, was taken into custody after a police report said officers found 700 pounds worth of scrap metal loaded into his Chevy Silverado.

Gorneau, of 462 Queen St., was charged with third-degree criminal trespassing and sixth-degree larceny. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond and is due in Bristol Superior Court for arraignment on April 2, according to court records.

DePalma said it isn’t common, but police have had instances where people dialed 911 accidentally before. Most don’t lead to an arrest, however.

“When this kind of thing happens, our dispatchers use our GPS tracking system to monitor the call. Usually a 911 call without anyone on the other end signifies a medical emergency, so medical personnel were also on notice.”

After tracking the call, a nearby patrol officer pulled into the lot just in time to catch Gorneau in the act, police said.

“It’s a pretty open and closed case,” DePalma said.

Tony M March 25, 2012 at 03:44 AM
This should make the Jay Leno's Tonight Show.
WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot March 26, 2012 at 04:59 PM
They should add another charge.. Being stupid in public. If convicted we set up a stock on the town green and anyone who likes to gets to throw rotten fruit and vegetables at him.


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