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2 arrested, 1 sought after copper theft disables 911, city phone lines in Pinole

PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/25/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 6/25/24 07:34

Authorities in Pinole arrested two people and are searching for a third after a copper theft over the weekend led to disruptions to 911 and phone service to several city departments.

According to Pinole Police, the department's communication center learned of the disruption around 7:20 p.m. Saturday. Staff reached out to the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and 911 calls were quickly rerouted to the sheriff's office.

At the same time, police went to a location where a copper theft took place on June 4, which also led to the disruption of 911 and city phone services.

When officers arrived, they found three male suspects. Police said the men defied officers and fled into an open field towards a neighborhood.

Additional officers from neighboring Hercules, a helicopter from the sheriff's office and a canine unit were called in. During the search, police were able to arrest two of the suspects and found tools used for cutting copper cables.

The suspects, identified as 31-year-old Jesus Arias-Ayala of Hayward and 49-year-old Daniel Mena-Diaz of Richmond, were booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. Both men are accused of felony vandalism and damaging telephone lines, while Mena-Diaz is also accused of a probation violation.

A third suspect remains at large. Police did not provide a description.

Police said Tuesday that 911 calls for Pinole, Hercules and San Pablo continue to be answered by the sheriff's office and that phone lines for several city departments in Pinole remain down.

While people can call 911 during an emergency, police said residents can also text 911, which goes directly to the city's communication center. For non-emergencies, residents can call 510-724-1111 or 510-900-4246.

Information about contacting city departments can be found by visiting the City of Pinole website.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call the department's Criminal Investigation Division at 510-724-1111.

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