Tuesday , June 25 2024

Sheriff Detectives Make 650 lb Wire Theft Bust

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Two detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office are now working full time to crack down on metal thieves. <br /><br />Investigators arrested 32 year old Richardo Avila for embezzling copper wire from employers. Yesterday he made a huge mistake that gave himself away.<br /> <br />&quot;At that time they saw a subject bringing in a pretty good quantity of what we call bright and shiny copper,&quot; Sgt. Ryan Hushaw said. <br /><br />Avila allegedly went into a recycling center in Southwest Fresno with a shopping cart loaded with brand new wire. He at first alleged his boss gave him the wire. But Avila’s story fell a part when they called his boss. <br /><br />&quot;They determined that that actually was not the case and they determined that the subject had stolen that wire or embezzled that wire from his company,&quot; Hushaw said. <br /><br />Avila is a licensed electrician working out of Firebaugh. He told investigators they’d find eighty more pounds of wire at his home, instead they hit the jackpot. <br /><br />&quot;We found probably about 400 to 500 pounds of additional copper wire that he had embezzled from the company,&quot; Hushaw said. <br /><br />Two sheriff’s office detectives now work full time on metal theft. Last year county losses amounted to over $1 million to the ag community. <br /><br />So much damage that some farmers can’t water their crop. And what’s fueling the thieves?<br /><br />&quot;And really a lot of that revolves around methamphetamine addicts,&quot; Hushaw said. <br /><br /></div>

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