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Two suspects in custody after stealing copper

Victor Gutierrez (left) and Mark Jimenez (right) admitted that they stole copper. They would either burn off or strip the plastic coating on the wire so they could sell it in Tucson.

Two suspects in custody after stealing copper

CREATED Nov 28, 2012

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

FLORENCE, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - Deputies arrested and booked Victor Gutierrez and Mark Jimenez into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center last Saturday, after discovering that the suspects had damaged and stolen more than $10,000 worth of copper.

Gutierrez and Jimenez are charged with trafficking in stolen property, burglary, aggravated criminal damage and possession of burglary tools. Gutierrez is being held on a $20,000 bond and Jimenez is being held on a $2,500 bond. 

Deputies and property crime detectives recovered several 30-foot long sections of copper wire that weighed approximately 500 pounds. Both suspects made admissions to stealing large quantities of copper during the past year.  

The suspects said they would steal the copper and either burn off or strip the plastic coating on the wire so they could sell it in Tucson.

The BHP Mine has reported that it has cost them several hundred thousand dollars to replace and repair the stolen copper during just the past year alone.

In a news release, Pinal County Sheriff Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "Many of the suspects who steal copper wire are doing it to support their illegal drugs habits. Both Victor and Mark have a past history of arrests for possession and use of illegal drugs.  I am sure the money made from these crimes was used to support their drug habits. Deputies and detectives did a great job working together to put these two suspects behind bars."