Auburn man admits stealing copper from Bath Iron Works

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BATH — An Auburn man admitted last week that he stole more than 3,600 pounds of copper cable from Bath Iron Works while he was employed at the shipyard.

Dean Daigle, 45, pleaded guilty to Class C theft in Sagadahoc County Superior Court Sept. 8. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 28.

His plea agreement stipulates that he will be sentenced to three years in prison, of which Geoffrey Rushlau – district attorney for Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties – is recommending he serve six months. But Daigle can request less prison time at the time of his sentencing.

Daigle will also have to serve two years of probation and pay more than $9,100 in restitution.

According to police, Daigle allegedly took scrap copper from bins in a hazardous waste area at BIW over a period of months. He reportedly cut the copper with a band saw and used a shipyard vehicle to move the metal to his own vehicle, which was parked outside of BIW.

“He got caught as a result of some suspicions internally,” Bath Police Detective Sgt. Bob Savary said, adding that BIW conducted an investigation and surveillance of its own before contacting police in March.

Detective James Montz arrested Daigle April 7 on a charge of theft.

Daigle reportedly sold the cable to a scrap metal dealer who required photo identification from sellers, Savary said. The dealer provided police with information includeing dates of sales.

BIW would not comment on Daigle’s employment history, but spokesman Jim DeMartini said in a prepared statement that “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.”

He added that “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.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.