Deputies arrested two men at a vacant home in Nuevo after finding them with more than 800 pounds of copper wire, the sheriff's department said Saturday.
Deputies received a call about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday of men loading copper wire into a truck at the house in the 23000 block of Ramona Avenue in Nuevo, according to sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Smith.
When the officers arrived, they saw Robert Eugene Blair, 51, of Hemet, leaving in the truck and stopped him, Smith said. In the house, the deputies found James Edward Malagon, 35, of Perris.
According to Smith, the men had been in the house stripping insulation off the wire.
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Deputies determined the wire had been stolen from a Verizon telephone vault in Perris on Monday, Smith said. Verizon reported a loss of more than $4,000 worth of telephone wire and more than $10,000 in damage to their property.
Blair and Malagon were arrested for suspicion of possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy, Smith said. Both were booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.