Suspected Copper Thief Working The Border
Deputies stop suspect in Canyon Country, return to scene of crime in Bouquet Canyon.
UPDATED 4:47 p.m. WEDNESDAY JULY 16
A Canyon Country man suspected of stealing a large amount of copper wire kept deputies busy today before he was arrested and booked at the Palmdale Sheriff's station.
Richard Martin Kovacs, 39, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft after leading deputies on a cross-town chase and doubling back to retrieve the stolen goods.
Kovacs’ truck and trailer, which allegedly carried a large amount of the wire, was spotted by an air unit of the Department of Water and Power on patrol over Bouquet Canyon. The pilot called the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station with a description of the truck and license number.
Deputies stopped Kovacs on Sierra Highway near American Beauty Drive in Canyon Country, but the trailer had been detached from the truck and was in an undisclosed location.
According to Lt. Mark Hershey, the man told deputies he would lead them to the trailer. Hershey also said that the theft occurred deep in Bouquet Canyon very close to the border between Santa Clarita and Palmdale station’s jurisdiction.
Lt. Tom Bryski said that Palmdale deputies booked Kovacs because the crime actually occurred in their area. He said that along with the impounded truck and trailer, an all-terrain vehicle Kovacs used to pull off the copper wire, was also seized.
In April, a man was arrested after DWP workers averted the theft of a 2,500-foot section of copper wire cut from a high tension wire pole. The wire, which had been cut into shorter lengths and bundled for transport, was valued at $10,000. The theft of copper wire is an ongoing problem for cities and utility companies throughout the Southland.