Leonel Agostino admits to scrapping pieces of Verizon wire stolen in Reading

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Published: Oct 10 2012 12:58:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2012 06:08:21 AM EDT
Verizon wires

A tip has led police to arrest a homeless man in a case of vandalism that disrupted phone service for hundreds of Verizon customers in Reading.

Leonel Agostino was apprehended Tuesday while crouching in front of a scrap pile in the 300 block of North Sixth Street.

A tip called in to Verizon's tip line from Laurel Street Recyclers led police to identify Agostino as a suspect in the sale of Verizon wires that were twice stolen from beneath the Bingaman Street Bridge.

Agostino, 63, admitted to police that he scrapped sections of the stolen wire at Laurel Street Recyclers in exchange for money, according to court documents.

The thefts disrupted phone service for hundreds of Verizon customers in southwest Reading, some for as long as several days.

Police have not yet identified a suspect in the actual theft of the wires.

Verizon has offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with knowledge of the case can call Verizon Security at 1-800-997-3287 or local law enforcement.