(FOX40.COM) — During a routine compliance check, San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office Community Revitalization Unit (CRU) Deputies say they discovered a fire that led to over $10,000 worth of stolen copper wire.
On Thursday, the SJSO reported that it conducted area checks throughout South County areas known for frequent wire thefts. While checking the area of Mormon Slough near Airport Way and E. Anderson Street, they discovered a large fire and black plumes of smoke coming from the slough.
After deputies deployed an unmanned aerial surveillance drone they say several suspects could be seen carrying heavy items and throwing them into the fire. Two trucks were also seen parked in the slough near the fire. Once the fire was extinguished, the suspects could be seen loading items from the fire pit onto crates and placing them into the bed of one truck, according to the sheriff’s office.
The two trucks then left the area and traveled northbound on Airport Way. CRU deputies reportedly followed the suspect vehicles in unmarked units to a residence on N. Stanford Ave. in Stockton. The suspects exited their vehicles shortly after arriving and were taken into custody. 755 pounds of burnt copper wire and six grams of crystal meth were recovered.
The wire recovered belongs to AT&T and is worth over $10,000. According to the AT&T asset manager.
Officials say that Hurcino Hernandez was arrested and charged with grand theft of copper materials, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime, and unauthorized non-agricultural burning.
Aureliano Pinedagaytan was also arrested and charged with the same crimes, plus possession of a controlled substance.