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    Senior Member zeezil's Avatar
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    Two illegal alien men arrested in metal theft

    Two men arrested in metal theft
    By EMILIE RAGUSO
    eraguso@modbee.com
    last updated: June 24, 2008 04:35:44 AM

    Detectives said the thieves left about $10,000 in damaged property. They would have gotten only $300 to $400 worth of metal had they escaped authorities, sheriff's spokesman deputy Royjindar Singh said.

    "We've been getting hit really hard west of Modesto off Paradise Road," he said. "Farm country's really been getting hit."

    Because of the thefts, rural crimes detectives have been keeping an eye on outlying areas of the county, he said.

    About 2:30 a.m., a detective near Paradise and Stone Avenue noticed a minivan driving on a canal bank, he said. The detective called for backup and set up a perimeter with other officers.

    A short time later, authorities saw the van come back along the canal bank. They stopped the van on suspicion of speeding, Singh said.

    Officers said they found two men, copper wire and a portable generator.

    Detectives drove into the area where the van had come from. They found two broken irrigation pumps and one electrical panel that had been cut open, Singh said.

    Officers arrested two Patterson men they identified as Jesus Rolando Parra, 21, and William Cruz Virgin, 20. They were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and vandalism. Virgin also was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy. Bail has been set at $20,000 each.

    Both have immigration holds and cannot be released on bail while authorities determine their immigration status, Singh said.

    Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235
    http://www.modbee.com/local/story/338249.html
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