Farmington River flood gate gears stolen on state property in Avon and sold as scrap metal for $230 will cost nearly $73,000 to replace, according to a press release from the Department of Energy and Environmental conservation.
The two Connecticut men police are holding responsible — William H. Diehl Jr., 47, and Richard A. Duclau Jr., 42 — face felony charges in the July 19 metal theft incident, according to DEEP's Division of Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police. They were arraigned in Hartford Superior Court on Monday and the judge is still awaiting their pleas, according to the state judicial website.
Diehl Jr., of Ashford, and Duclau Jr., of Rogers, were charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny and first-degree criminal mischief on Aug. 9.
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EnCon police launched an investigation after receiving reports that there was a break-in at a state-owned Farmington River flood gate house in Avon. The site is off New Road at the Farmington River Water Access Area, close to the Collinsville town line.
"The components are made of very large and intricate metal gears used historically to open and close the flood gates on a dam in the Farmington River located near the Historic Collinsville Section of town," the press release stated.
The gears weighed about one ton and were broken to be sold as scrap metal. On top of replacement costs, property damage done when the gears were removed amounted to about $28,000, the press release stated.
State of Connecticut Department of Correction - Norwich Parole and Community Services parole offices and Troop D state police assisted with the investigation. The men were processed at Troop D barracks in Danielson.
Diehl Jr. is still being held in custody on $1,000 bond the court reduced from $25,000. Duclau Jr. was released the day of his arrest after posting a $5,000 professional surety bond.
Diehl Jr. is scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 28 and Duclau Jr.'s next court date is Sept. 24.