Two men were arrested Wednesday morning after attempting to steal copper wires from the Pepsi plant in southwest Merced, police reported.
Officers responded to the plant after an alarm went off around 2:38 a.m., setting up a perimeter around the building.
According to Sgt. Bob Chapman, officers saw two men inside who began to flee on foot.
Officers were able to catch and arrest Fredrick Routt, 40, and John Martinez, 47. Both are listed as Merced-area transients.
Police say they found a large amount of tools used to cut copper wire with the suspects, including wire snippers. Martinez also was in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine.
Chapman said police officers were able to stop the burglary-in-progress before the suspects got away with stolen property.
"There was evidence inside that they had been snipping wire in an attempt to take it, but they didn't get out of there with anything," Chapman said.
The Pepsi plant, at 1 S. West Ave. in Merced, has been the target of several burglary attempts in the past year, usually for the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of copper wiring there.
Both suspects were booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of burglary, breaking and entering a property, and possession of burglary tools.
Martinez also was charged on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, and is being held on $26,000 bail.
Routt, who also has a criminal warrant, is being held in lieu $66,000 bail.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.