Two Stockton men were arrested last week after allegedly attempting to collect 49 lengths of 400-pair copper wire that had been cut and staged in a vineyard.
Deputies from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Community Revitalization Unit had located the copper wire that had been cut and then planted in a vineyard Thursday.
They said they waited in the area to see if anyone would collect it.
After 9 p.m., two men identified as 56-year-old Lorenzo Ochoa and 41-year-old Timoteo Aguilar drove up to the hidden pile of wires and began loading them into the truck.
Deputies said 400-pair wire contains 800 individual wires that must be individually spliced back together to restore phone and internet service after they’ve been cut.
Both men were arrested and booked into San Joaquin County Jail.
According to deputies, AT&T wire theft has been a massive issue for the county because it has disrupted internet and phone services for thousands of people and costs millions of dollars to repair and replace.