Sonora, CA– Two Sonora residents were arrested Sunday night for stealing $500 worth of copper wire from Cal Sierra Recycling in Sonora.
According to Sgt. Jeff Wilson from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office, around 10:30 pm last night, Deputy Jeff Gempler was patrolling the Mono Village area when he pulled over a Volkswagen Jetta for a moving violation. The driver, 20-year-old Cindy Lynn Ann Debates of Sonora told the Deputy she and the other two passengers were “just hanging out.”
After conducting a warrants check, Deputy Gempler discovered that one of the passengers, 20-year-old Austin Willard Rodgers of Sonora was on probation for burglary. Rodgers boots were also reportedly covered with mud and his pants were wet. After questioning, Rodgers eventually admitted to cutting the fence at Cal Sierra Recyling at 14959 Camage Avenue and stealing some copper wire.
Deputy Gempler inspected the trunk and found 300 pounds of copper wire, bolt cutters and a piece of the same wire under the front passenger seat. Rodgers and Debates were arrested and booked at Tuolumne County Jail and charged with theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, violation of probation and vandalism.
Because of its high resale value, copper thefts have been on the rise. Sgt. Jeff Wilson says many thieves resell the copper wire in the Central Valley.