MADERA COUNTY – Two Madera men are facing grand theft and drug charges after a Madera County Sheriff’s Leiutenant catches the pair stealing roughly 125 feet of copper wire during rush hour near Highway 99.
Lt. Patrick Majeski was driving to work in an unmarked sheriff’s vehicle, when he witnessed Jimmy Costa, 38, and Pablo Gutierrez, 28, snatch a spool of telecommunication wire and throw it into the trunk of their car.The incident happened near the northbound Highway 99/Gateway off ramp.
Realizing they had been spotted, the pair made a quick u-turn, leading them over a bridge to Almond Avenue near Madera Community Hospital, where they blew through a stop light at Barnett Way, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
In their attempt to evade capture, the driver jumped a curb, drove through an open field, stopped at one point to toss the wire out and then continued on. They made it as far as Gary Lane near the newly built Madera County Office of Education building, where they finally came to a stop.
To explain why the pair dumped the wire, one of the suspects reportedly said they figured if they got rid of it, the Leiutenant would end the pursuit.
The cut wire, valued at nearly $1,000, could have probably grossed them approximately $40 at a recycling shop. However, the cost to replace the loss is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars, says the Sheriff’s Office.
The suspects posed for these photos at the scene of their arrest.