OC man arrested for attempted copper theft

IRVINE, Calif.

A security guard at the Irvine Ranch Water District construction site off of Riparian Way noticed the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Brett William Vernon, immediately bolting when he was spotted shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Irvine police officers canvassed the area and found a backpack with tools consistent with wire theft and a set of car keys. Officers also found a head set, part of a four-piece communication system used on the sideline of football games.

During their search, investigators also found a suspicious vehicle at a nearby church with bolt cutters clearly visible inside the car. Further investigation identified Vernon as the owner of the vehicle.

When officers arrested Vernon at his Buena Park home, they found multiple large electrical wire spools, insulation casings from stripped wire, multiple recent recycling receipts totaling over $1,600 and the rest of that communications system, which was reported stolen from an Irvine-area high school a day prior.

Police say the value of the stolen wiring ranges from $300 to $1,500 per spool.

Vernon was arrested for attempted grand theft and possession of stolen property. He was booked into the Orange County Jail with bail set at $20,000.

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