By Ray King

Two Pine Bluff men previously convicted of four or more felonies were arrested Tuesday in  connection with the theft of copper wire belonging to AT&T.

Michael Payne Jr., and Dantrell Canada were taken into custody after police were sent to the 1800 block of South Ohio Street in response to a report that two men were cutting down AT&T wire.

During a court hearing Thursday, Deputy Prosecutor Shana Alexander said police found a large quantity of copper wire on the ground and two witnesses gave police descriptions of the two men and said they were wearing coveralls and riding a 4-wheeler.

Detective Sgt. Kith Banks reported officers searched the area and located Payne and Canada who were wearing coveralls that matched the description given by the witnesses in the area of 19th Avenue and Florida Street. Payne had a key for a 4-wheeler in his possession and police located a 4-wheeler that had previously been reported stolen. The key in Payne’s possession started the 5-wheeler.

Alexander said AT&T reported that 400-feet of wire had been cut and was valued at between $18 and $24,000 for damage and losses of customer service.

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set bonds of $50,000 each for Payne and Canada have four or more felony convictions and were told to come back to court