Break in the Case of the Stolen Bleachers

The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department is crediting a tip from a local citizen for arrests related to the theft of bleachers from an Apple Valley school.

The tip led to the arrest of Edward James Burke, 45, and Melissa Jean Santos, 43, both have plead not guilty to stealing bleachers from the Academy for Academic Excellence.

The Apple Valley couple were caught after a local citizen read about the theft. 

"A concerned citizen who read about the story in a local newspaper called to say they had knowledge that these two individuals had scraped the material," according to Cindy Bachman from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. 

Detectives were able to track down the thieves because recyclers are required to show I.D. to scrap yards.

"If it looks suspicious like fire hydrants and rail roads and things like that we don't take it," said Jeff Byun of Central Metal recycling in San Bernardino. "We make copies of your I.D. to make sure you're the proper owner."

Officials estimate that metal thefts have cost the Inland Empire thousands of dollars.


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