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Menifee, Temecula Pair Arrested After Allegedly Caught Red-Handed Stealing Copper

Sheriff's officials report the man and woman were "in the process" of stealing heavy gauge copper cable when a deputy spotted them in Rancho Mirage.

Loueenia Skgelstad, 43 of Menifee, and Gregory Strahl, 42 of Temecula, right.  Photos courtesy: Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Loueenia Skgelstad, 43 of Menifee, and Gregory Strahl, 42 of Temecula, right. Photos courtesy: Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

Two people were arrested for allegedly stealing copper cable from a electrical hub in Rancho Mirage Monday.

Around 3:15 a.m., Riverside County sheriff's deputies on patrol saw a suspicious vehicle parked behind a commercial building near Bob Hope Drive and Highway 111 and arrested 42-year-old Gregory Strahl of Temecula when he tried to run from the area, sheriff Sgt. Andy Martinez said.

"The officer determined that Strahl and a female occupant of the vehicle, identified (as) Loueenia Skgelstad, 43, of Menifee, were in the process of removing heavy-gauge copper cable from within an electrical room that distributes electricity to numerous business suites within the complex," Martinez said.

Strahl and Skgelstad were arrested on suspicion of burglary and booked into the county jail in Indio.

"Copper theft is a serious offense plaguing our communities and the Rancho Mirage Police Department will maintain a high level of proactive patrols in an effort to identify and apprehend those offenders," Martinez said. 


– City News Service contributed to this report.


DENISE February 10, 2014 at 09:24 PM
THEY SHOULD BE FINED 10 TIMES THE AMOUNT THEY WERE STEALING PLUS A HEAVY ADMINISTRATIVE FEE ..THE CRIMINALS MUST UNDERSTAND THAT THEY MUST PAY NOT THE TAX PAYER.
ChrisG February 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM
@denise, you could fine them the national debt. Take a close look at the photos. How much do you think they have?
T 22 February 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM
i don't see them paying anything. Pretty sure, that's why they were stealing. I do understand your point though, Denise
ChrisG February 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Jail time then community service wearing hot pink jumpsuits. An alternative would be to put them in room full of an unlimited supply of drugs and let them off themselves.
Mike Mueller February 12, 2014 at 02:52 PM
Unfortunately people like this will never be able to pay back their debt to society. They are on public assistance or hold sporadic jobs. The only way they can pay back their debt is with community service - hundreds, if not thousands of hours over a life time.

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