CORONA (CBSLA.com) — Two men have been arrested on suspicion of ripping the copper wiring out of solar panels used to power a Corona department store.
Derrick Aescheliman, 45, of Upland, and Nathion Gourley, 35, of Corona, were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and felony vandalism in connection for with the damage to electrical panels at a Kohl’s, 470 Hidden Valley Parkway, Corona police Sgt. Kim Velasco said.
Police were initially sent out to the department store Monday morning, when it was discovered that over the weekend, someone had cut and stolen the copper wiring from the electrical panels that control the solar panels. The damage, which included several other electrical boxes that were cut, was estimated at $300,000, Velasco said.
The detective investigating the theft returned to Kohl’s early Tuesday morning and he saw a white truck driving out from behind the department store, Velasco said. The plates were covered, so the detective pulled the truck over.
Inside the truck, the detective found burglary tools and copper wiring, the same type that had been stolen from the store that weekend, Velasco said. Police say Aescheliman, the driver, and Gourley, the passenger, returned and stole more wire from the same area.
Both men have been booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
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