Man arrested for alleged metal theft in Thermal

35-year-old Ramiro Valladares of Mecca in custody

THERMAL, Calif. - A 35-year-old man accused of stealing metal items from various farms in the Coachella Valley was arrested in Thermal, a sheriff's deputy said on Saturday.

Authorities said Ramiro Valladares, of Mecca, was in possession of burglary tools when they apprehended him at 12:41 p.m. Friday in the 89500 block of Avenue 78, near Harrison Street.

He was booked into the Indio Larson Justice Center on suspicion of felony vandalism, petty theft and possession of burglary tools. He remained behind bars in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The investigation that led to the suspect's arrest was a part of a broader effort by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department to crack down on thefts from farming communities in Thermal, Mecca and Oasis.

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