May 28, 2018
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Worker admits stealing copper, bucket by bucket, from BIW

By Beth Brogan, Times Record

BATH, Maine — A former employee of Bath Iron Works pleaded guilty on Thursday to stealing more than 3,600 pounds of copper cable from the company over an eight-month period.

Dean Daigle, 45, of Auburn will be sentenced later this month for Class B felony theft after Justice Andrew Horton accepted Daigle’s guilty plea on Thursday in Sagadahoc County Superior Court, District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said.

According to a plea agreement, Daigle will be sentenced to three years in prison with all but six months suspended. He also must serve two years of probation and pay restitution of $9,151, Bath police Detective Jim Montz said Friday.

Between August 2010 and March 2011, Daigle allegedly took 10- to 12-foot scrap copper cables from Dumpsters into the hazardous waste shop where he worked essentially alone, Montz said. He then cut the copper cables into lengths that would fit standing upright in white utility buckets and carried the buckets out to his truck.

“He could get 115 pounds of cable in [one bucket],” said Montz, who investigated the thefts.

Daigle allegedly sold the cable to a scrap metal dealer who required sellers to show photo identification, Montz said. That dealer was able to provide police with dates and other details of Daigle’s sales. Because the dealer paid for copper with a check, he also was able to give police copies of canceled checks, according to Montz.

Police recovered 3,636 pounds of copper cable, Montz said.

BIW security was alerted to the theft by another employee, Montz said.

In an email Friday to The Times Record, Bath Iron Works spokesman Jim DeMartini wrote, “We have a zero tolerance policy for theft of company property, regardless of type, quantity or value. Violators will not only be discharged but we will also actively support prosecution and sentencing within the criminal justice system. Any theft of company property does a great disservice to the company, all of our employees who work hard every day to ensure our continued success, and our customer, the U.S. Navy. We constantly examine our internal security measures and this most recent incident has given us some valuable lessons learned. The outcome from this incident should also serve as a strong message that this type of behavior is harmful, damaging, and will not be tolerated.”

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