A representative from the Indio Jail has confirmed the facility is detaining two men who are alleged to have stolen large amounts of copper from local businesses. The most recent incident unfolded last weekend. It was at that time that local law enforcement received a tip that copper parts had been stolen from several restaurant air conditioning units. Those units were located on the roofs of those establishment, police said, making them an easy target for would-be thieves.
Insurance estimators have said the value of the stolen metal is upward of $45,000.
An anonymous tip was called in later that afternoon. This led officers to a residential home within the Vintage Palms Apartment complex. Two men that matched the description of the copper-thieves were spotted a short time later. Defendants Victor Martinez and Javier Rendon tried to flee but were surrounded. Martinez surrendered of his own free will. Rendon attempted to evade capture but his attempt was not successful.
The men were arrested on the spot and transported to the Indio Jail in order to be booked into the system. Bail for both men has reportedly been set at $45,000 which means their cost to purchase bail bonds would be $4,500 each, or 10%. Jail records show the defendants remain in custody. They are scheduled to be arraigned later this week.
Indio Jail officials have said that metal thefts are on the rise. It is believed a metal theft ring is actively operating within the area. Those criminals will be arrested, jailed and prosecuted, they said. Anyone who believes they might have additional information regarding these crimes are asked to contact local police.