(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.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:30:51 GMT
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.Alex Anthony Gilbert, 24, of Independence was charged with second-degree murder. His daughter died fourMore >
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:13 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:13:19 GMT
Police are investigating whether a person being shot in the chest is connected to a home invasion robbery.Two men attempted to burst into a home in the 106 block of Greenwood Road when shots were fired.More >
A woman fired shots at three men attempting to break into her home, and one of the suspects was shot in the chest, police said. Her husband described the harrowing ordeal. More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:44 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:44:12 GMT
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them. Families at Valley Park Elementary, which is located off of West 123rd Street in OverlandMore >
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:36 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:36:54 GMT
A two-vehicle wreck caused some major backup on Interstate 70 Thursday evening. The wreck closed I-70 westbound past Interstate 670. Drivers reported seeing traffic backed up for miles. Officials saidMore >
A two-vehicle wreck caused some major backup on Interstate 70 on Thursday evening.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:31 AM EDT2013-05-24 06:31:07 GMT
Jodi Arias (Source: CBS 5 News)
It is now in the hands of the 12 jurors to decide if Jodi Arias will live her life behind bars or if she'll be executed. The defense and prosecution gave their closing statement Tuesday afternoon andMore >
The judge has declared a mistrial in the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial. The jury announced late Thursday afternoon that they could not reach a unanimous decision on life or death for Arias.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:57 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:57:02 GMT
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children. And so she raced against the storm. She had 30 miles to cover from her jobMore >
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:38 AM EDT2013-05-24 08:38:10 GMT
(RNN) - A bridge in Washington has collapsed and at least two cars are in the water, according to KING 5 TV out of Seattle. The bridge is part of Interstate 5. There is no word on injuries. Copyright 2013More >
A photo from the scene showed a man sitting on top of his car, which was partially submerged.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:04 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:04:40 GMT
MISSOURI CITY, TX (KPRC/CNN) - When a pregnant teacher in Texas collapsed, her coworkers rushed to help. The woman technically died, gave birth, and then was brought back to life. Erica Nigrelli, an EnglishMore >
A pregnant woman's heart stopped, and doctors performed an emergency c-section to rescue the baby and save the woman.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:41 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:41:53 GMT
An old-school Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is a beauty, but there's nothing old about the engineers-in-training who re-built it into an electric car. "And it runs really nice," Cornel Foster, a Minddrive student,More >
Just by tweeting a certain phrase you'll be able to help a car run.More >