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Thieves targeting copper wire from utility poles in Ventura County

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
A Ventura County man is accused of stealing copper wires from power poles. Thousands of feet of wire has been stolen locally during the last few months.

One arrest made in connection with unusual crime.

It's an unusual crime. Thieves have been stealing valuable copper wire from utility poles in Ventura County. Now, there's been an arrest.

Someone reported seeing a trio of people removing copper wire Wednesday afternoon from some Southern California Edison power poles on South Mountain Road, near Fillmore.

Two of the men fled, but deputies say they arrested Sergio Vasquez Gutierrez of Santa Paula at the scene. They found more than 100 feet of copper wire had been cut from a number of power poles in the area.

Copper wire is expensive, and can be resold to recycling centers. Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives say about 5,000 feet of the cable has been stolen from the Santa Clara River Valley during the last few months.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.