Mariposa & Yosemite

Waterford man suspected of stealing gold

A Waterford man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing gold from a Merced County gold mining operation.

It was the second time John Sumter, 41, has been arrested on suspicion of committing the same crime. He reportedly tried to steal from the same site four years ago.

Two deputies responded early Thursday to an alarm at the mine, sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said.

They found Sumter hiding in mining equipment and trash cans full of soil that looked as if they had been disturbed.

MacKenzie said a garbage can full of dirt can yield from $200 to $1,000 worth of gold dust.