Visalia man facing charges for stealing copper from his company

January 17, 2013 12:34:22 AM PST
Detectives in the South Valley are investigating a large copper theft scheme after an employee was found stealing from his own company.

The suspect, Jaime Gutierrez, worked at A-1 Electric in Visalia.

Surveillance video from Bruno's Iron and Metal Recycling Center in Fresno show Jaime Gutierrez recycling thousands of dollars' worth of copper wire while using his former company's account information.

Gutierrez went unnoticed at the recycling center, so much that he offered to help out some other copper wire thieves and recycle their metal, too, taking a cut of the profits.

Detective Rocky Pipkin said he would estimate that the theft would easily be in the range of $50 to $100,000.

Pipkin says they began their investigation after the companyA-1 Electric got a tip that one of their employees was stealing from them.

They weren't happy about how much money they were losing.

Normally when a person goes into a recycling center they have to wait three days before they get their money unless they have a commercial account. Because Gutierrez's former employer never took his name off the account, he was able to use his former company's name to steal from his current company.

The Visalia Police Department has taken over the case and cited and released the suspects Wednesday morning. Gutierrez and another A-1 Electric employee are facing charges for grand theft, conspiracy and embezzlement.


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