Somerville police arrested a man for allegedly trying to walk out of with $280 worth of copper wire he hadn't paid for, according to a police report.
A loss prevention officer followed Edward Diaz, 27, of Lynn, on March 6, as the man walked around the Assembly Square store and allegedly picked up several spindles of copper wiring. When Diaz allegedly exited the store without paying, the loss prevention officer confronted him, and Diaz tried to flee, according to the report.
When police responded and searched Diaz, they allegedly found a syringe in his pocket in addition to a black folding knife.
Police charged Diaz with larceny and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Over the past few years, a rise in copper prices and the struggling economy have led to an increase in copper theft, according to reports. In other parts of the country, people have attempted to steal copper wiring from power substations and other public utilities.