Two Arrested for Alleged Theft of Copper Wire in San Joaquin County

Two Arrested for Alleged Theft of Copper Wire in San Joaquin County
Photos courtesy of San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office

The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has announced two arrests for the alleged theft of copper wire. These arrests come amid a rise in such thefts to the point where communication infrastructure has sustained considerable damage, necessitating increased efforts by local police to curb these incidents.

The county has been contending with a rise in wire theft incidents that have severely disrupted phone and internet services for a large number of residents. The rampant thefts have resulted in substantial financial burdens, with repairs and replacements estimated to cost millions of dollars, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In response to this trend, the Community Revitalization Unit (CRU) has committed to combatting wire theft to safeguard vital communication infrastructure.

Recently, CRU deputies successfully located and recovered 49 lengths of 400-pair copper wire that had been intentionally cut and concealed in a vineyard. Each 400-pair wire contains 800 individual wires, necessitating the process of individually splicing them back together to restore phone and internet services. This discovery provided crucial leads for investigators.

Deputies positioned themselves near the site and monitored the area to observe if any individuals would attempt to collect the stolen wire. Shortly after 9 PM, two men arrived and began loading the stolen wire into their truck. The suspects, identified as 56-year-old Lorenzo Ochoa and 41-year-old Timoteo Aguilar, both from the Stockton area, were promptly arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, possession of stolen property, and possession of burglary tools.

AT&T, the telecommunications company affected by these thefts, has responded by offering rewards of up to $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest of wire thieves. Residents are urged to call 800-807-4205 to provide tips that could assist in the ongoing investigation.

It was unclear at press time whether the two individuals were still in custody or had retained counsel.

According to the FBI, copper thefts pose a significant risk to critical infrastructure, as it is found in many materials used in construction and electrical. This combined with an increasing global demand for copper has led to a rise in thefts.

Two Arrested for Alleged Theft of Copper Wire in San Joaquin County was last modified: May 15th, 2023 by admin
Categories: San Joaquin

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