Copper Wire Thief Arrested in Aptos

Edgar Ayala was found with $3,500 in copper wire on Tuesday.

Copper wire is a valuable commodity and it has been the target of thieves for years. But the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office took one copper wire thief off the streets early Tuesday morning in Aptos.

According to Sgt. Steve Carney, deputies were conducting security checks on the 200 block of Valencia Road at 3:23 a.m. when they found a truck containing several rolls of wire which they believed to be stolen. 

Edgar Ayala, the driver of the truck, was detained and was found to be in possession of "wire stripping and cutting tools as well as other items used to steal wire," Carney said in a prepared statement. 

Deputies seized $3,500 of wire from the truck and Ayala, a 38-year-old Watsonville man, was arrested for possession of stolen property. 

According to Carney, Ayala was also detained in 2011 in a South County agricultural field when his truck became stuck in mud. At that time, deputies found three transformers in the truck which were believed to be stolen.  

"The theft of copper wire continues to be a concern for law enforcement due to the impact of the thefts and the dangers when tampering with potentially active electrical wires," Carney said. "The sheriff’s office encourages residents to report suspicious behavior such as persons loitering around electrical boxes, commercial electrical yards or abandoned homes and commercial buildings. ... Once the wire is stripped, the thief will sell the wire to recycling companies." 

Twice this spring, .

Do you worry about copper wire thiefs? Tell us in the comments!

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