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Sonora coin box burglary thwarted; 2 charged

SONORA — Officers on Wednesday morning arrested two men suspected of trying to break into a newspaper stand's coin box with stolen tools they thought were bolt cutters, police announced Thursday.

Sean McIntyre, 48, and Robert Epperly, 25, both transients, were arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary, burglary, possession of stolen property, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of burglary tools, according to Sonora police.

McIntyre also was charged with violating probation and resisting arrest.

During the investigation, police learned the pair had entered Orchard Supply Hardware and stolen a large pair of cable crimpers, believing they had taken bolt cutters, said Police Chief Mark Stinson.

Cable crimpers are clamping tools used to install coaxial cable. They do not cut.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m., a witness called Sonora police after seeing two men trying to use a large tool to break into the newspaper stand in the 700 block of Mono Way.

Stinson said McIntyre and Epperly had gone to the newspaper stand and used the cable crimpers to try to cut the lock on the coin box but failed.

Officers responded to the scene and spotted the two suspects. McIntyre ran, but an officer quickly caught up to him.

Stinson said McIntyre and Epperly had the cable crimpers when they were taken into custody. The cable crimpers were new and still had the security tag and the instruction manual attached.

The suspects also had small tools in their possession, all of which were new and still in their original packaging, but not stolen from Orchard Hardware.

They were booked at the Tuolumne County Jail.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

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