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August 25, 2011

NH trio charged in thefts

Police: Copper peddled at local salvage firms

SALISBURY — Local police will be charging three men in connection with a large copper theft in New Hampshire earlier this month. The charges come after the thieves peddled the copper at salvage businesses in both Salisbury and Amesbury, police said.

Salisbury police Detective Anthony King said William Muse, 42, and Nicholas Grandmaison, 28, both of North Hampton, N.H., and Christopher Hillsgrove, 39, of Exeter, N.H., will be issued summonses on charges of receiving stolen property more than $250 in connection with an incident in town.

Muse and Hillsgrove are also facing receiving stolen property charges out of Amesbury, where police there believe they sold stolen copper to Railroad Avenue salvage company NA Nichols.

King said that in early August the trio broke into the Electric Barn on Lafayette Road in North Hampton and stole high-voltage load switches made with copper. It will cost the owner of the Electric Barn up to $6,000 to replace the damaged items, King said.

Hillsgrove and Muse went to Salisbury Auto Salvage on Main Street on Aug. 6 and were paid $220.70 for the copper, police said. Grandmaison returned to Salisbury Auto Salvage Aug. 8 and sold $127.60 worth of copper. All three suspects returned to the Main Street business later that day and tried to sell more copper, but were turned away after they couldn't prove where they got their merchandise.

"If they see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, they will call us," King said of Salisbury Auto Salvage.

Also on Aug. 8, Muse and Hillsgrove visited NA Nichols near the Lower Millyard area of downtown Amesbury and tried to sell copper there.

Unbeknownst to the suspects, North Hampton police had called police in Amesbury warning them that the suspects may try to off-load copper in their town. Police then called NA Nichols to ask if anyone had tried to sell them copper recently. By that time, the owner of the Electric Barn had already stopped by NA Nichols and identified merchandise belonging to him, according to Amesbury chief of detectives Lt. Jeffrey Worthen.

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