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Alleged Chatsworth Copper Thief Nabbed in Calabasas

Michael Andrew Prizzi of Chatsworth is also accused of trying to hide his mushrooms in the back of the patrol car he was being held in.

Alleged Chatsworth Copper Thief Nabbed in Calabasas

A Chatsworth man accused of trying to steal $5,000 worth of copper from a Calabasas storage company was free on $20,000 bail today.

Michael Andrew Prizzi, 43, was arrested on Jan. 31 on suspicion of burglary, vandalism and possession of a controlled substance and released the same day, according to jail records.

An employee at the Storage Etc. at 24300 Ventura Blvd. called 911 when he noticed a Lexus in the back of the building for about 25 minutes, the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff's Station reported. 

The building was vacant and there had been recent copper thefts from the business. 

A responding deputy discovered Prizzi on the property with wire cutters and pliers sticking out of his back pants pocket. Prizzi admitted to the deputy he was "rummaging for copper," but thought it was OK because there wasn't a "No Trespassing" sign.

The deputy searched Prizzi and placed him in the patrol car before searching the property. He found cut wire from an electric motor in a small utility room.

The deputy also discovered a large bag with 40 pounds of copper wire.

While waiting in the patrol vehicle, Prizzi apparently slipped a Ziplock bag containing several dried mushrooms onto the floor of the patrol car in an attempt to hide it.

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