WRENTHAM — Two men who allegedly stole clothing from a donation bin behind a local church were captured after a long police chase in woods off Interstate 495, authorities said.
Jonathan L. Pires, 25, of Brockton, and Nuno J. Andrade, 22, of Taunton, were arraigned Tuesday in Wrentham District Court and freed without having to post bail. A third individual is also being sought, according to a police report.
The alleged theft occurred about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday behind St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 130 South St.
Police say the suspects were in a U-Haul van that was spotted by Officer Jacob Halloway leaving the church parking lot and heading south toward Plainville.
When Halloway attempted to stop the van it sped up and got onto Interstate 495 South and continued for about 10 miles to Route 138 in Raynham, where an officer deployed a tire deflation device, police said.
The van continued traveling with flat tires before the occupants ran from the vehicle when it struck a tree off the highway, police said.
Officers searched a wooded area with the help of state police and a state police K9 unit before the two suspects were apprehended.
The clothing from the bin was recovered from the van, which was towed back to the police station, authorities said.
The suspects were ordered to stay away from St. Mary’s Church and are due back in court in November.
They face charges of receiving stolen property and breaking into a depository.
The theft of clothing from donation bins is something police are coming across more often, according to Chief Bill McGrath.
“This type of theft is on the increase. The bad guys sell the stolen goods to second-hand clothing stores or sell it themselves online for profit,” McGrath said on the department’s Facebook page.
Often, the bins contain high-quality, brand-name clothing highly sought after by thieves, he said.
Last October, Plainville police arrested a Pawtucket man who was attempting to steal clothing from a donation bin near the Wood Elementary School at about 3 a.m.