Three arrested in copper theft case

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat /

Three men were arrested in Jamestown on Friday for allegedly stealing copper materials from a vacant building, resulting in more than $100,000 in damage.

Joseph Eric Mcintyre, 45, and Sean Steven Mcintyre, 51, both of Jamestown, and Columbia man Johnny Anthony Tuck, 43, were booked into Tuolumne County Jail after the materials were found in the trunk of their vehicle.

At about 11:15 a.m., Tuolumne Narcotics Team officers Craig Davis and Eric Erhardt were patrolling near the 6900 block of O'Byrnes Ferry Road.

They conducted a patrol check of the building, which formerly housed Blue Dolphin Enterprises, and, through a window, saw a man sawing something, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The officers identified themselves as law enforcement and asked the man to step outside.

The man gave a hand signal implying the officers should wait a minute, then promptly disappeared from view, the Sheriff's Office said.

Shortly after, a vehicle drove out from behind the building and headed toward Copperopolis.

Davis and Erhardt followed the vehicle's path down O'Byrnes Ferry Road but discovered it had turned around toward Highway 108.

The officers initiated a traffic stop on the 6800 block of O'Byrnes Ferry Road, and found copper wire and other copper materials that had been stripped from the vacant building inside the car's trunk.

As of Friday afternoon, Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jeff Wilson was unsure if the materials were all taken that morning or on multiple occasions.

The officers arrested the men on suspicion of felony charges of burglary and vandalism.

The men remained in custody Monday morning, with bail set at $15,000 each for the new charges. Tuck was held without bail for a warrant and Joseph Mcintyre had an additional bail set at $20,000 for a warrant.

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