Wildwood Police arrested a man for stealing over $30,000 worth of copper wiring from underneath the boardwalk.
"He goes out - we did not know he was doing that. We don't have any money to give to him. We tried to get him help, we keep him in here."
Dora Basara is talking about her 31-year-old son, Jonathan R. Basara, who was arrested and charged for stealing a substantial amount of copper wiring from underneath the Wildwood and North Wildwood boardwalk.
Richard Michael Basara, the suspect’s father, explained, "Jonathan was doing it because he has a drug habit - but what you don't know is that Jonathan is a two-time Iraq Marine Veteran, sniper on the first time, and he has a traumatic brain injury and PTSD."
Authorities say after searching the suspect's home on the 400 block of West Pine Avenue, they found physical evidence connecting Basara to the illegal activity.
Wildwood City Administrator, Christopher Fox, told NBC40, "You know, I don't have an exact amount of copper taken, other than the value is more than $30,000 worth of copper."
In North Wildwood, Basara stole copper wiring between 22nd and 24th streets. In Wildwood, officials say the suspect stole from several businesses and also from surveillance camera wiring in the area. Fox explained, "Morey's Pier I believe had some of their wire taken from underneath their pier, and I’m getting word that some of the Convention Center, some of their wire was missing as well. Times are tough, no jobs, the unemployment rate is high. You will see more burglaries come out that way so obviously the police department is more aware of this and will keep an eye on things and that's where our police department did a fantastic job."
Wildwood officials say none of the copper wires stolen pose a threat to the safety of the businesses along the boardwalk, nor the boardwalk itself.
In both Wildwood and North Wildwood, Basara was charged for theft and criminal mischief and has since been incarcerated at the Cape May County Correctional Center.
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