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Man, 41, charged in copper thefts

A man accused of taking thousands of dollars’ worth of copper from a construction site gave himself up to police this week.

And it seemed he did so by starting a new burglary and then waiting for police to come get him.

An Allen County sheriff’s officer was called to the construction site of Continuing Care Living Center on St. Joe Road early Monday.

There, the officer found 41-year-old Christopher Michael Gonce waiting.

Gonce’s physical features matched the description of someone spotted burglarizing the site several times since Nov. 25.

He had a flashlight and pipe cutters in his hands, and two trailers had been broken into, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

Gonce went willingly with police and later told a detective he “wanted to be caught,” according to court documents.

Gonce admitted to stealing copper with a total value of more than $13,000 from the site.

He said he sold all of it for far less than that.

But he also admitted he “was tired of doing this” and only did so “to keep food on my plate,” according to court documents.

Friday, Allen County prosecutors formally charged Gonce with two felony counts of burglary and three felony counts of theft.

He had previously been booked into Allen County Lockup and was being held in lieu of $3,750 bail.

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