Two San Leandro men have been arrested for allegedly attempting to steal copper ground wiring at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation Wednesday night, according to Menlo Park police.
Menlo Park police officers responded to the PG&E substation at 2000 Willow Road around 10 p.m. to assist California Highway Patrol officers who detained a suspect in possession of a stolen vehicle. A second suspect was located in the area, according to police.
Authorities determined that both men trespassed into the substation property and were in the process of removing copper ground wiring from power transmission towers at the substation.
Robert Greer, 31, and Robert Malitz, 42, were both arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail on charges of grand theft, felony vandalism, conspiracy and interfering with power lines. Greer was also booked for parole violation and Malitz was charged with possession of stolen property.
A PG&E truck containing around 2,000 pounds of copper wiring was stolen in Petaluma on Tuesday, according to local police. No arrests have been made in connection with the robbery.
According to PG&E officials, the company has lost around $3.2 million since 2005 because of copper wire theft. Thieves usually take stolen wire to local recycling plants to exchange for cash.