Two Michigan City residents have been arrested on multiple charges in
connection with the theft of copper “train signal” wire from the South Shore
commuter line tracks in eastern LaPorte County, the Northern Indiana
Commuter Transportation District Transit Police said.
Richard Humelsheim II, 31, and Derek See, 31, were arrested on Sunday on
charges of theft, possession of burglary tools, criminal trespass on
railroad right-of-way, railroad mischief, and criminal mischief, NICTD
Police said in a statement released after deadline on Monday.
According to police, at 12:30 a.m. a Transit Police officer and his K-9 were
conducting a surveillance in the area of LaPorte County Road 300E when a
South Shore train reported signal problems nearby. The officer and his K-9
partner apprehended Humelsheim and See “as they were walking away from a
wire theft site with strands of freshly cut copper signal wire draped over
their shoulders,” police said.
“When arrested, Humelsheim and See were both dressed in camouflage clothing
and wore ski-mask style dark stocking hats with eye cut-outs,” police said.
“Both possessed tool bags that contained flashlights, cutting tools, utility
knives, and a butane cutting torch with fuel canisters and igniter.”
Transit Police are now contacting scrap dealers in an effort “to determine
where the stolen copper signal wire was being sold at.”
Anyone with information regarding these thefts is urged to contact NICTD
Transit Police at (219) 398-6000. All information will be kept confidential.
Police said that a recent rash of copper signal wire has caused passenger
trail delays and thousands of dollars in damages.