Frank Linares, a volunteer in a community emergency response team, was in Debs Park Monday night as part of a monthly radio drill when he spotted three men dressed in camouflage clothing near a hilltop pond. These men, however, were not part of the drill. They were apparently stealing copper wiring. Linares quickly radioed information about the crime-in-progress to other volunteers, who called police. Montecito Heights resident Martha Benedict provided details about what happened next on ASNC Alert: message group
The perpetrators had fled the scene but left about a thousand feet of 5/8” thick copper wire plus their tools, including a device used to roll up the wire out of the installation. The material and tools were collected and taken back to Hollenbeck police station. A motorcycle was found in the parking lot and police are following up with the ownership of it in case it is related to the crime.
One of the volunteers used his own truck to transport some of the coils of copper wire, which is believed to have been part of a park irrigation system, to the police station because it all could not fit into the police squad cars.