Tag Archives: Copper Wire Theft

Chino Hills: Two Suspects Arrested In Copper Wire Theft

Staff Reports



(Photo Courtesy: firstelectricalsupply.com)

Chino Hills – Chino Hills Deputies have arrested two suspects in conjunction with the theft of $50,000 in copper wiring and tools.            According to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Chino Hills Police Department, on Sun., Nov. 30 at approximately 12:05 a.m., a deputy was patrolling a vacant Kaiser Permanente site at 13000 Peyton Drive. The deputy happened upon Mario Lopez, 32, and Eduardo Guillen, 23, both from Ontario, in the process of stealing copper wire from a parking lot light pole.

Lopez was apprehended at the scene. Guillen fled toward Garey Avenue and SR-71. Additional Chino Hills Deputies quickly responded to the area and established a security perimeter. Guillen was soon located and detained near the intersection of Garey Avenue and Market Place in Pomona.

Deputies recovered copper wire, tools, and four damaged light poles with an estimated value and repair cost of $50,000.

Lopez and Guillen were booked at the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of Conspiracy, Possession of Stolen Property, Grand Theft, and Vandalism.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the theft of copper wiring, pipes, tubing (and other metals) has reached $1 billion in loss and damages due to the increased value of scrap copper. Thieves are combing construction sites, abandoned buildings, and targeting light poles and commercial heating and air conditioning units.

One of the main concerns is that in order to get at the copper, thieves are causing more damage to the units they are extracting from than they are able to obtain looking for their $3 to $4 per pound for the metal. And if their targets are hooked up to live voltage, they could very well lose their lives.



Chino: Police Arrest Multiple Thieves



Chino – The Chino Police Department has issued news releases regarding the arrest of a Copper Wire Thief, as well as the arrest of four individuals who misused an EBT card.


On Thurs., June 5, Chino Police officers arrested a suspect at approximately 4:52 a.m. after receiving a call regarding a suspicious person in the area. Officers responded to a vacant residence in the 5100 block of Washington Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. regarding a possible burglary. During the initial investigation officers were unable to locate any suspects. After several hours of proactively patrolling the area, they came into contact with Allen Dane, 40, of Pomona, who is currently on parole. Dane was located about a half mile from the property on Washington Avenue.


Through investigation, Dane was linked to the residence, where it was confirmed that he had entered the house and stolen copper wiring. He was subsequently arrested and booked into the West Valley Detention Center for burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia.


According to FBI.gov, the demand for copper from developing nations such as China and India is creating a significant international copper trade. Thieves are exploiting this demand by stealing and selling the metal for high profits to recyclers across the U.S. As the market expands, the need for copper will continue to encourage theft. Metal thieves are targeting vacant homes and construction sites, and cutting copper wiring from air conditioning/heating units, plumbing, telephone lines, cell towers and other means, the tampering of which presents a serious public threat by disrupting the flow of electricity and creating fire risks.


According to the Chino Police Department, copper wire theft continues to be an ongoing crime trend, causing victims thousands of dollars in repairs. Residents are asked to be vigilant in recognizing and reporting suspicious activity related to subjects who are in possession of copper wire, wire cutting tools, or appear to be tampering with objects or locations containing copper wire.


In another arrest, Chino Police officers arrested four suspects on Wed., June 4, at approximately 1 p.m. while conducting an undercover operation on the 5200 block of Philadelphia Street. According to a CPD news release, officers encountered three subjects who were sharing cash proceeds after one of them used a California Advantage EBT card (public assistance funds) to withdraw cash from a local market. The investigation reveled that the cardholder was not entitled to receive these cash benefits, but through a relationship with a store employee, funds were withdrawn from the account through the merchant’s register. The store employee received cash compensation for his involvement.


Chino residents Derek Greenshields, 24, and Ann VanWinkle, 23, were arrested for conspiracy, burglary, and unlawful transfer of public assistance funds.  Scott Sanchez, 28, from Pomona, and Nabil Dib, 54, from Placentia, were arrested for conspiracy and unlawful transfer of public assistance funds.  All suspects were booked into the West Valley Detention Center.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this type of crime should call the Chino Police Department at (909) 628-1234.