DELHI -- Two men who allegedly stripped copper wire from the Union Pacific Railroad were arrested Monday morning by the Merced County Sheriff's Department. Leonard Rouse, 28, and Robert Booth, 36, were in a Ford F150 carrying copper wire and vinyl sheathing used for telecommunications. Deputy Brian Miller, who was patrolling the area of South Avenue and Canal Drive, recognized Rouse in the driver's seat of the truck. Miller knew Rouse had a suspended license, so he attempted to pull the truck over, but Rouse tried to ditch Miller by driving through an orchard. Miller pulled the truck over as Rouse exited the orchard. An investigation revealed the wire and sheathing was stolen from Union Pacific Railroad, the department said.
Deputy Alex Barba and Det. Roy Tighe visited Rouse's home in the 15000 block of El Capitan Way, where they discovered an additional 500 feet of copper wire worth about $2,000, the sheriff's department said.
Rouse was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and driving on a suspended license. He remains in jail on $11,080 bail. Booth was jailed on suspicion of possession of stolen property and remains behind bars on $10,000 bail.
-- Posted by Brandon Bowers