A Madera couple suspected in the theft of at least 120 aluminum irrigation pipes were charged with grand theft last week, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday. Emanuel Castillo, 45, and his 41-year-old girlfriend Paula Simentel Chapa were arrested outside a home in the Parkwood subdivision of Madera County.
The two face felony charges for what sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart called a “scrapping spree,” where they allegedly dug up irrigation pipes — often from vineyards — to sell for quick cash, as much as $1,000.
“The scrapping spree was stretched out over a period of several days,” Stuart said. “Presumably so as to not draw unwanted attention.”
Six to seven bundles of the aluminum pipe are still missing from a vineyard off of Road 24 in the La Vina area, Stuart said, and anyone with information about the thefts is encouraged to call the sheriff’s office at 675-7770 or the 24-hour anonymous Valley Crime Stoppers tip line at 498-STOP (7867)...