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Two Waldorf men were arrested Thursday afternoon after officers found them inside a vacant home on Kipling Drive with evidence that they were trying to steal copper and electrical wiring, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Michael Johnathon Bennett, 25, and Elmer William Pessagno, 21, have both been charged with theft. Bennett has also been charged with burglary and destruction of property.

Officers were dispatched at 1:15 p.m. to the home, where it was reported that a man wearing a dark-colored pea coat was trying to steal the HVAC unit behind the house.

Officers arrived and found the home’s rear door unlocked. When Officer C. Shaw and his police dog entered the home, Pessagno surrendered to police. Bennett was found hiding in a bathroom.

Investigators determined the men had broken into the house, stripped the copper wire from an air-conditioning unit and destroyed some walls in order to access and steal electrical wiring.

Officer J. Kelly investigated.

JEFF NEWMAN