SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said deputies recovered a large amount of copper wire Thursday that will cost AT&T over $100,000 to repair and replace.
According to a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office, detectives spotted Victor Rios, 38, of Stockton, driving in the area where several agencies were conducting a sideshow crackdown operation.
The sheriff’s office said Rios had three active arrest warrants and that detectives were aware of a copper wire theft case in 2020 allegedly involving the 38-year-old.
After Rios was detained, detectives searched his vehicle and residence, where they allegedly found over 1,200 pounds of wire, the sheriff’s office said. A large amount of cash was also found in his vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.
While searching Rios’ vehicle, the sheriff’s office said he was found to be on probation, which led to a search of his home.
After allegedly possessing a large amount of wire in his vehicle, the sheriff’s office said more copper wire was discovered in Rios’ residence, where a stolen Kawasaki Mule was also found and that came from an unrelated agricultural theft case.
The scrap metal value of the copper was approximately $5,000, according to the sheriff’s office.
An additional 500 pounds of wire were found at a local recycling center, where the manager and employees were educated about recycling laws and regulations, the sheriff’s office said.
“Many of the recycling centers within the county know what this wire looks like and where it comes from, and call us when someone brings it in,” the sheriff’s office wrote in its post. “Locations that purchase this type of wire are being actively investigated and may face future criminal charges and/or civil action.”
Rios was booked on his previous warrants in addition to facing multiple felony charges relating to the wire and vehicle thefts.