On July 26, Meriden resident Thomas E. Cedeno Jr. called his boss at work to report terrifying news.
Cedeno was rushing to the hospital at that very moment because one of his children had stopped breathing, meaning he wasn’t able to make it to his job at Middlefield-based Connecticut Cable Construction and Maintenance (CCCM).
A terrifying situation for any parent, if it were true.
According to a warrant for his arrest, Cedeno didn’t have to go to the hospital at all. Rather, at 1:30 p.m. on that Thursday, Cedeno was actually driving to a nearby cable company to sell spools of copper wire that he had been stealing from his employer over the course of six months.
Cedeno, 39, of 45 Nancy Lane in Meriden, was arrested on a first-degree larceny charge last week following a two-month investigation into his alleged copper-wire thievery. Police said he stole at least $22,000 worth of #6 and #12 copper wire from CCCM, a dollar amount claimed by Cedeno’s boss, Charles Ferrara, the company’s owner.
Ferrara told police Cedeno, who started working at CCCM last December, began a process in January of regularly taking copper wire from the warehouse floor and bringing it to a secure office which only Cedeno and a few others had access to.
Ferrara told police he figured out that Cedeno was then taking the copper and selling to Cable Management, a company on Platt Street in Meriden. Ferrara contacted Cable Management and the company confirmed that Cedeno had been coming there a few times a week to sell wiring, court documents said.
At 1:40 p.m. on July 26, ten minutes after Cedeno told Ferrara he was rushing to the hospital, Ferrara got a call from a Cable Management secretary saying Cedeno was there at that very minute selling the copper wire.
Ferrara rushed over and encountered Cedeno as he was leaving. Cedeno jumped in his 2004 Jeep and hit the reverse button, pushing Ferrara’s car roughly 50 feet back before fleeing the scene at a high rate of speed. Three people, including Cable Management’s owners Josue Trudeau and Edward Avery, witnessed the incident unfold.
Cedeno was located in Hartford on Sept. 15 and arrested on a warrant. He has since posted a $10,000 bond and is due back in court on Oct. 1.
Police said Cedeno has a lengthy criminal record for narcotics violations and larceny from departments across the state.