Alleged fake phone worker charged in $40K wire theft

Kingston police have arrested a man they say was dressed up as a phone line worker to steal valuable wire.

On Tuesday at 11 a.m., officers responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle on Butternut Creek Road on the east side of Kingston.

Phone line workers who were responding to a service issue in the area the day before returned to find a suspicious truck with a roof-top light parked with reflective cones around it, according to Kingston police.

The workers called police, but before officers arrived a man wearing a hard hat, coveralls and rubber work boots returned to the vehicle.

Police said the man had stolen a "substantial quantity" of wire from the same location the previous day. More than 1,000 metres of wire worth approximately $40,000 had been cut and removed from the area, police said.

The 36-year-old man from nearby Maberly, north of Kingston, was transported to police headquarters where he was held for a bail hearing Wednesday.

He's been charged with theft over $5,000 and mischief over $5,000.