Alleged copper thieves arrested in Slidell - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Alleged copper thieves arrested in Slidell

Tyler Hilaman and Jessica Lingoni (Photos from Slidell PD) Tyler Hilaman and Jessica Lingoni (Photos from Slidell PD)

FOX 8 received this news release from the Slidell Police Department Friday afternoon:

A Slidell couple is behind bars for stealing thousands of dollars worth of copper from outside air condition units. Tyler Hilaman and Jessica Lingoni, both 21-years-old, are currently being held at the Slidell City Jail for burglary and narcotics charges.

Within the past few months, Slidell Police received numerous complaints from Slidell homeowners who discovered their outside AC condenser unit completely stripped of the copper. Detectives spent most of last week following up on leads in hopes of catching those responsible. Their break came this week when an alert neighbor spotted a car backed into a driveway of an abandoned house off of Camellia Drive. The neighbor provided police with a very good description of the vehicle, and was also able to obtain a partial license plate. It was later discovered that the condenser unit at the residence, where the suspicious care was observed, was stripped of all the copper.

On Thursday, Slidell Police located the vehicle at a local motel and discovered that Lingoni was the owner of the vehicle. Inside of the hotel room where Lingoni was staying, police found Lingoni's fiancé, Tyler Hilaman, and also located illegal narcotics, suspected to be heroine. Inside of Lingoni's car, police discovered the tools used to cut the copper from the condenser units.

Detectives were able to link Lingoni and Hilaman to at least twenty different reported copper thefts in and around the Slidell area. The duo were targeting abandoned and vacant houses, and it is believed that several more home owners will come forward after they discover their condenser unit to be stripped of copper.

The case is still under investigation, and at this time, Tyler Hilaman is currently charged with: Simple Burglary, 10 counts of Theft Over $1000, Possession of a Schedule I Narcotic (Heroine), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Jessica Lingoni is currently charged with: Simple Burglary, Possession of a Schedule I Narcotic (Heroine), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Slidell Police are still attempting to make contact with several homeowners who have not yet filed police reports.

Chief Smith says, "Our citizens are the eyes and ears of this community. We value the relationship between our citizens and the Slidell Police…and this case is a true testimony to our success."

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