A 70-year-old Townsend man is accused of trying to steal a lightning rod off of a barn at the Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area.
Charles J. Bachman was trying to climb onto the roof of the barn in broad daylight on April 22 when he was spotted by a plain-clothed officer with the Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, according to Sgt. Gregory Rhodes.
Rhodes said the officer was investigating vandalism and illegal entry into buildings at the 5,000-acre nature preserve, east of Townsend, when he noticed the elderly man scaling the barn behind the 19th-century property known as the Chabbott House.
"I suppose those things have value because they're antiques," Rhodes said. "But you can't just take property off a historic building."
Bachman is charged with trespassing and theft under $1,500.
He later was released, Rhodes said.