January 9, 2010 (San Diego's East County) --The San Diego Sheriff's Department has been investigating a series of thefts of copper wire and construction materials from businesses along the Hwy 67 corridor north of Willow Road. Suspects would use cover of darkness and in many cases, bad weather, to sneak onto properties to cut out heavy gage copper wire from heavy equipment and machinery.
On January 5 around 5:30 a.m., Deputy Karl Miller and his team arrested Ronald Hyde for 15 counts of grand theft and conspiracy. Christine Vandecar was arrested for conspiracy (related to grand theft cases) and possession of methamphetamine for sale.
Damage to the property, machinery and equipment would often render it unusable causing substantial monetary loss to the affected businesses. Losses from the thefts, damages, and lost earnings for the affected businesses are estimated at over $500,000.
The suspects were identified through Sheriff's deputies working in partnership with the victim buisnesses and area recyclers. Deputies used a combination of surveillance and Law Enforcement technologies to identify when and how the suspects committed the thefts.