Two arrested for stripping copper wire from light poles

News headline from the Redlands Police Department:

An off-duty Redlands Police officer reported the suspicious activity after observing a man attempting to strip wire from a City light pole in the area of Reservoir Road and Ford Street at about 5:30 a.m. Monday, May 27. Responding officers stopped Eva Marie Montenegro, 32, who was driving a 1995 Toyota Camry.backflow22.jpg

Police located copper wire stripped from the poles in the vehicle. Montenegro was arrested for vandalism and possession of stolen property as well as possession of narcotics.

Related news: More than a dozen fire hydrants stolen in northwest Redlands.

Investigators identified Jonathon Steven Ingle,, 31, of Redlands, as working with Montenegro and issued an arrest warrant. Officers
located Ingle in a travel trailer in the 2100 block of Nice Avenue in Mentone on Friday, May 31, and arrested him for grand theft, possession of stolen property and vandalism.

In a separate case, officers arrested Ryan Cole Henderson, 34, of Mentone, after a resident witnessed Henderson stealing brass sprinkler heads in the area of 10 Georgia Street. Responding officers located Henderson a short distance away with the sprinkler heads.

The theft of recyclable metals, including wire from street lights, sprinkler heads, backflow devices and other items, is an ongoing issue for law enforcement in many communities, including Redlands. The cost to the City to replace stolen metal and repair City property is exponentially greater than the recycle value of the metal.

The public can assist police in curbing metal theft by reporting all suspicious activity to police immediately. Residents should especially be aware of people working on utilities – such as lights, utility boxes, or irrigation systems – late at night or in the early morning hours.

Legitimate work crews will be identifiable by well-marked City or utility company vehicles and uniforms.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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