3 Arrested In $1,000 Springdale Copper Theft

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Police arrested three Springdale men after they allegedly fled from officers while stealing copper from an area business over the weekend.

Fayetteville police arrested Luis Madrigal, Ricardo Meza and Jesus Valenzuela on Sunday on suspicion of felony theft of property, criminal mischief and fleeing from police. Madrigal and Meza were released Monday from the Washington County Detention Center on $2,500 bond each.

Valenzuela, 39, remains in jail on $3,300 bond and faces an additional charge of loitering.

A caller told police Sunday afternoon that they saw four Hispanic men taking apart air conditioners behind a Wholesale Electric warehouse on South West Avenue in Fayetteville. Officers responded and identified themselves to a Hispanic man working on an air conditioner, but the man fled through a hole in the fence, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

The man ran to a Chevrolet pickup truck, which then sped away. Police later caught up to the vehicle and pulled it over, according to the report.

Officers noticed two aluminum copper radiators, loose copper piping, pipe insulation and tools in the bed of the truck, the report states.

Police collected evidence from the crime scene, including footprints from the suspects, police said.

Damage to a commercial air conditioning unit at the business warehouse is estimated at about $1,000, according to the preliminary report.