2 local men indicted in copper theft at Port Arthur ISD property

Published 12:54 am Saturday, July 31, 2021

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Two Port Arthur men were indicted last week for allegedly stealing copper from a long vacant outpatient center now owned by the Port Arthur Independent School District.

Bradley Wayne Ealy, 34, and Roberto Delgado Gonzales, 53, were indicted for the July 5 incident at the former St. Mary Outpatient Center, 3701 Texas 73.

According to the probable cause affidavit, police received a call that two men were on the roof of the building, which has been vacant since 2017.

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An officer arrived and reportedly saw a black Ford Ranger pulling a trailer leaving the back side of the property.

The vehicle was stopped and the people inside were identified.

The trailer had what police believed to be condensers with copper tubing attached. Ealy and Gonzales reportedly made a statement about the taking the property.

Police learned the facility is owned by PAISD and contacted a representative of the district, who verified the information and that the district wished to file charges.

Ealy was arrested July 21 and bonded out the same day on a state jail felony charge with a $5,000 bond.

Gonzales was arrested on a charges of theft with $7,500 bond and also has charges of evading arrest detention with motor vehicle and failure to appear. He is still in custody.

PAISD purchased the building in December with plans to use the property as the district’s support services and transportation center.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.