Two southern Arizona residents have been arrested and charged with stealing copper wire from an abandoned mine shaft.
Authorities say they found 46-year-old Victor Gutierrez and 34-year-old Mark Jimenez in an underground tunnel at BHP Billiton’s copper mine in San Manuel on Saturday.
They are charged with trafficking in stolen property, burglary, aggravated criminal damage and possession of burglary tools.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office says the men told deputies that they would steal copper wire and remove the plastic coating before selling it in Tucson. Authorities say the men had damaged and removed $10,000 worth of copper.
Gutierrez is being held at the county detention center on a $20,000 bond. Jimenez’s bond is set at $2,500. They are set for a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Florence.
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