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Two San Bernardino County men suspected of stealing electrical wiring from shuttered federal prison

August 19, 2010 | 10:05 am

Two San Bernardino County men were arrested this past week on suspicion of stealing electrical wiring from a shuttered federal prison in Boron, a desolate compound in the middle of the Mojave Desert.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies started investigating the thefts on Aug. 11, and found that someone had dug up wiring from underneath the old prison camp and started stripping it from the abandoned buildings. The minimum-security federal prison camp was closed a decade ago.

Deputies received a call the next day that the suspects were back,  and when law enforcement arrived they found the suspects’ parked vehicle, which they impounded.

Bruce Peebles, 53, was arrested hours later after he wandered onto a neighboring highly secure radar site operated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Robert Louis Tucker, 33, was arrested on Wednesday.

Inside the suspects’ vehicle, police found a pile of recycling receipts in the glove box from a plant in Hesperia – all in Tucker’s name, according to a statement released by sheriff’s officials.

Peebles and Tucker were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and vandalism.

-- Phil Willon