(Source: Pinal County Sheriff's Office) Victor Gutierrez, left, and Mark Jimenez were arrested by Pinal County Sheriff's deputies after they were caught in a hand-dug tunnel that led to the BHP mine in San Manuel
FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) -
Authorities said two suspects literally went underground to steal thousands of dollars worth of copper wire Saturday.
The Pinal County Sheriff's Office reported Victor Gutierrez, 46, and Mark Jimenez, 34, both of San Manuel, were arrested by deputies after they were caught in a hand-dug tunnel that led to the BHP mine in San Manuel.
A deputy was making his routine security rounds at the closed mine when he came across the tunnel used previously by copper thieves and heard something move inside, according to a sheriff's office spokesman.
After backup deputies arrived, Gutierrez, wearing a headlamp, stuck his head out of the tunnel and was greeted by the barrels of the deputies' guns, the spokesman said.
Gutierrez denied anyone else was in the tunnel, but deputies later found Jimenez inside the tunnel, ordered him out and took him into custody.
Deputies later determined the suspects had damaged and removed more than $10,000 worth of copper, and several 30-foot-long sections of copper wire weighing approximately 500 pounds were recovered, the spokesman said.
Both suspects admitted to stealing copper during the past year and either burning off or stripping the plastic coating on the wire so they could sell it in Tucson, the spokesman said.
BHP reported that it has cost them several hundred thousand dollars to replace and repair the stolen copper from thefts in the past year alone.
Gutierrez and Jimenez were booked on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property, burglary, aggravated criminal damage and possession of burglary tools. Gutierrez was being held on a $20,000 bond and Jimenez on a $2,500 bond.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5(Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:56:12 GMT
The body of a missing Portland woman has been found in Hawaii. A medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has notMore >
The medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has not yet been determined.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:32 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:32:31 GMT
ORLANDO, FL (RNN) – A man with possible ties to a Boston Marathon bombing suspect was shot and killed after the FBI interviewed him early Wednesday. The FBI confirmed a special agent fatally shot a manMore >
A man killed Wednesday during questioning by the FBI said he and Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev were accomplices in a 2011 slaying. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:49 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:49:12 GMT
Investigators now say two men they believed to be posing as city fire inspectors are in fact licensed professionals, and run a legal business. The two men were seen walking into stores along SE HawthorneMore >
Investigators now say two men they believed to be posing as city fire inspectors are in fact licensed professionals and run a legal business. More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:27 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:27:53 GMT
The first City Target set to open in Portland is starting to take shape and on Wednesday, Fox 12 got an early peek inside. The store is located inside the Galleria building at 10th and Morrison. The CityMore >
The first City Target set to open in Portland is starting to take shape and on Wednesday, Fox 12 got an early peek inside.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:40 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:40:11 GMT
Fox 12's most wanted stole not once, but twice from the safe of a Catholic school in northeast Portland. Someone stole about $4000 from The Madeleine School. The first theft happened on Friday, and theMore >
Fox 12's most wanted stole not once, but twice from the safe of a Catholic school in northeast Portland.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:58 PM EDT2013-05-23 01:58:43 GMT
A Vancouver high school class is working on a special piece of art, they say is part of a ‘re-facing' project, after a city statue was defaced. Several students from Fort Vancouver High School createdMore >
A Vancouver high school class is working on a special piece of art they say is part of a ‘refacing' project after a city statue was defaced.More >