Gilford man charged with stealing copper pipe from neighbor's basement

GILFORD — A Morrill Street man was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail yesterday morning after appearing in circuit court to face one charge that he allegedly stole some copper piping from an house on Morrill Street.
Eric Lewis, 25, of 237 Morrill Street is charged with one count of burglary for entering a property about six houses away from his own and taking copper piping from the basement.
Police were called to the home during the morning of June 13 after one of the owners notified them that some tools were missing from a tool box. Police discovered the copper theft when they noticed a pried-open window and found "inches" of standing water in the basement. Investigating officers also noticed a water pipe that was duct-taped but was still leaking water.
According to affidavits obtained from the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, detectives said they went to C & T Metals at 781 Union Ave in Laconia and the owner identified Lewis. He said Lewis gave his name and used a U.S. Passport as identification. Police said the owner of the shop had scrapped all the copper except for one piece, which they said was consistent with the piping that had been stolen from the house.
Affidavits said Lewis was also a suspect in a number of thefts in the neighborhood, including one where a K-9 tracked a scent toward the Lewis home.
Detectives spoke with Lewis's mother several times and she told them she was struggling to help her son get into rehabilitation because he has an opiate addiction.
During their investigation Gilford Police learned Laconia Police had a warrant for Lewis's arrest. Gilford asked Laconia to document his footwear if they arrested him.
Laconia Police arrested Lewis June 16 at 8:45 p.m. in the Funky Monkey parking lot after responding there to stop of a fight. Laconia Police logs indicate Lewis was charged with one count of receiving stolen property.
Laconia Police documented his shoes and Gilford detectives said they matched the footprints with those found at the home where the copper was stolen.
Conditions of Lewis's personal recognizance bail include a curfew and appearance in circuit court on July 8 with proof he attended a session with Horizons and that he has additional appointments scheduled.
Judge Jim Carroll also ordered him to present proof of employment and $250 in cash bail or he would be reincarcerated.