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 November 10th, 2009  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara credits Crime Stoppers tip and anonymous phone calls with solving two of three recent copper wire thefts from electrical contractor
St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives have arrested one man for stealing copper wire from a Fort Pierce electrical contractor Oct. 20 and another man for the daylight theft of copper wire last Friday from the same business, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

A third copper wire theft last Wednesday night remains under investigation from that business, Matula Electric Co., 1010 West Midway Road, in unincorporated St. Lucie County west of U.S.1.

"I want to thank those who saw the photos we released to the news media and gave information that led to the two arrests," Sheriff Mascara said. "On Monday, detectives arrested Jimmy Mendoza, 23 (DOB 6/12/86) and Charles Russell Crooks, 25 (DOB 10/25/84.)"

Crooks is charged with the Oct. 20 theft of about 400 pounds of copper wire.

Mendoza is charged with the Friday afternoon theft of about 400 pounds of copper wire.

An anymous call to Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers (1-800-273-TIPS [8477]) and two anonymous phone calls to Sheriff's detectives identified Mendoza as the man who stole the copper wire Friday, Sheriff Mascara said.

In interviews with detectives, Mendoza identified Crooks as the thief in the Oct. 20 theft.

Detectives are pursuing leads to identify the two men responsible for stealing about 400 pounds of copper wire last Wednesday night from Matula Electric Co.

After an October theft, Matula Electric Co., 1010 West Midway Road, installed a motion-activated infrared camera that photographed the suspects stealing wire earlier this month. A third theft took place last Friday afternoon.

"Interviewing a suspect in an unrelated case turned up the information that led to the arrest of Jimmy Mendoza," said Sheriff Mascara. "Mendoza provided information leading to the arrest of Crooks."

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