January 11, 2011, copper wire was stolen from city lights at Espee Park in Chandler, located at 450 E. Knox Road. Reviewing the investigation, property crimes detectives asked for patrol officers to conduct frequent patrols of the park.
January 12, 2011, at approximately 2:30 A.M., a Chandler Police Officer was patrolling Espee Park when he located Michael Laurence Clay, a thirty-three year old transient, in the park with tools used to steal copper wire. Further investigation revealed Clay was preparing to steal copper wire from a different light at the park when the patrol officer located him. Clay was arrested and admitted to the prior theft, explaining he obtained the idea after reading about copper-wire thefts in the newspaper.
Clay was booked into the Maricopa County Jails, charged with two counts of aggravated criminal damage and one count of trafficking in stolen property.