Naked man, friends charged in attempted theft

Published 11:13 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An alleged attempt to steal copper at a city-owned training site left four suspects out in the cold Monday.

Police say they found one man naked in a vehicle, and three others hiding in the woods, when they arrived at a former transmitter site in the 3900 block of Sleepy Hole Road on Monday to train their police dogs.

Police took Ingo Curlett, 48, Stephen Liberato, 45, Robert Wilkins, 52, and Wilbur Wilkins, 53, into custody and charged them with grand larceny, larceny with intent to steal, possession of burglary tools, conspiracy to commit a felony and trespassing.

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According to city spokeswoman Debbie George, police were at the former transmitter site Monday afternoon to conduct police dog training. Several city departments use the site for training and storage, she said.

About 1:30 p.m., a police lieutenant noticed a suspicious vehicle on the property. When officers went to check the vehicle out, they found a naked man inside, George said.

The man told police he was there with three other people to steal copper when he fell into a hole and got wet, George said. He had taken his clothes off and gotten into the vehicle to warm up.

Police located the other three suspects hiding in the woods, George said.

All four of the suspects live in the 3400 block of George Washington Highway in Portsmouth. They are currently being held at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.