MADERA COUNTY – Three Palanda residents, accused of trying to sell man hole covers that had been reported stolen in Merced, are behind bars, according to Madera County Sheriff John Anderson.
Dorothy Jane Alt, 19, Joy Dawn McKay, 37, and Issac Gonzalez, 30, were all arrested on felony charges.Shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Agricultural Crimes Detective Adam McEwen received a call from a recycler who wanted to report what he believed to be suspicious activity.
Two women entered his business trying to sell him three steel man hole covers. The third party, identified as Issac Gonzalez, was sitting in their car, which was parked outside, says the Sheriff’s Office.
When Detective McEwen arrived, the trio told him they had found the steel at a former labor camp in Planada. This is the same camp, owned by the County of Merced, that has been hit several times already, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Knowing the trio did not have permission to be on the property and were not given permission to take the covers, Detective McEwen made a quick call to the Merced County Sheriff’s Office to inquire about any possible thefts that may have been reported.
McEwen learned that indeed a theft had been reported from the same location early Tuesday morning, copper wire and steel man hole covers were missing.
Inside the car Detective McEwen found a steel pry bar, pipe wrench, tin snips and other others tools commonly used to steal wire and man hole covers.
All three were booked onto Madera County Department of Corrections on felony charges, with bail set at $10,000 each.