Two Arrested After Allegedly Being Seen Burning Stolen Copper Wire near Mormon Slough
Above: Burned wire in containers
(Courtesy of San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office)
Two individuals were recently arrested after San Joaquin County authorities allegedly caught them with over 750 pounds of stolen copper wire.
According to a press release by the Sheriff’s Office, deputies from the Community Revitalization Unit (CRU) conducted area checks in South County regions known for wire theft incidents on October 5. During their patrol near Mormon Slough, at Airport Way and East Anderson Street, the deputies reportedly observed a large fire and black plumes of smoke.
In response, an Unmanned Aircraft System Drone was deployed to assess the situation. Several individuals were reportedly observed carrying heavy items and throwing them into the fire. Two trucks were also observed parked in the vicinity of the fire.
After extinguishing the fire, the individuals loaded the items from the fire pit into crates and placed them into one of the trucks. The two trucks then departed the scene, heading northbound on Airport Way. Patrol units and CRU deputies followed the suspect vehicles to a residence on North Stanford Avenue in Stockton, where the individuals were detained.
Law enforcement officers reportedly recovered 755 pounds of burnt copper wire and six grams of crystal meth during the operation. The copper wire, which belonged to AT&T, had an estimated value of over $10,000.
Two individuals, identified as Hurcino Hernandez and Aureliano Pinedagaytan, were both arrested on charges of grand theft of copper materials, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime, and unauthorized non-agricultural burning.
Pinedagaytan also faced an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance, the Sheriff’s Office said.