Copper Wire Theft Investigation Reportedly Leads to Discovery of Illegal Recycling Operation
Above: Copper wire recovered during search
Photos courtesy of Kern County Sheriff’s Office
According to a press release by the county Sheriff’s Office, the county has seen a marked rise in copper wire thefts, resulting in thousands of dollars in costs for replacement materials and repairs.
On February 9, Rural Crimes investigators served a search warrant on the 8500 block of Kam Avenue in Bakersfield as part of ongoing investigations into these thefts. During the search, investigators reportedly confiscated over 2,000 pounds of “non-ferrous” material such as copper, brass, and aluminum. Investigators also identified multiple items which had been reported stolen from businesses that had experienced thefts of copper wire.
Investigators also reportedly found an illegal assault rifle.
At the scene, investigators also contacted 36-year-old Victor Solares Reyes, whom they allege was operating an illegal recycling center at his residence. Authorities ultimately arrested Solares Reyes on suspicion of purchasing or possessing copper wire without due diligence, possession of stolen property, conspiracy, and possession of an assault rifle.