TAMPA — Four men posing as utility workers tried to steal copper from an underground Verizon cable network, police said.
At about 3:30 a.m., someone watched the group set up a false work area at S Himes and Alline avenues and uncover and enter a manhole, police said.
The witness called police.
When police arrived, the men — Danilo Castellanos, 35; Orleans Hernandez, 43; Simon Loo Rosello, 32; and Omar Conde Rojas, 38 — fled.
Officers caught up to Castellanos and Hernandez in a rental truck and took them into custody. They seized the rental truck, another 26-foot truck, hard hats, safety vests and cutting tools.
Warrants were issued for the arrests of Loo Rosello and Conde Rojas. Castellanos and Hernandez were charged with trespassing and larceny in relation to utilities, theft of copper and criminal mischief.