Two Madera men are facing grand theft and drug charges after a Madera County Sheriff’s lieutenant caught the pair stealing roughly 125 feet of copper wire during rush hour traffic near State Route 99 on Wednesday morning.
Lt. Patrick Majeski was driving to work in an unmarked Sheriff’s vehicle, when he saw 38-year-old Jimmy Costa and 28-year-old Pablo Gutierrez snatch a spool of telecommunication wire and throw it in the trunk of their car near the northbound SR-99 Gateway off ramp, said Sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart.
Realizing they had been spotted, the pair reportedly made a quick U-turn leading them over a bridge to Almond Avenue near Madera Community Hospital, where they blew through a stoplight at Barnett Way, Stuart said. In their attempt to evade capture, the driver jumped a curb, drove through an open field, stopped at one point to toss the wire out and then continued on, officials said.
The pair made it as far as Gary Lane near the newly built Madera County Office of Education building, where they finally came to a stop, Stuart said...