Two men who were caught stealing copper wires led police on a short car chase through Madera on Wednesday, authorities said.
Jimmy Costa, 38, and Pablo Gutierrez, 28, were caught stealing roughly 125 feet of copper wire by an off-duty Madera County Sheriff's deputy the northbound Highway 99 Gateway off ramp.
The deputy watched as the two placed the copper wire into the trunk of their car, the sheriff's Office said.
After realizing that they had been spotted, the two made a quick u-turn near Madera Community Hospital, where they blew through a stop light at Barnett Way.
Deputies say the driver then jumped a curb, drove through an open field, stopped at one point to toss the wire out and then continued driving.
The two made it as far as Gary Lane near the newly built Madera County Office of Education building before coming to a spot, deputies said.
The cut wire, which is valued at nearly $1,000, could have grossed the two approximately $40 at a recycling shop, authorities said. However, the copper wire could cost thousands of dollars to replace.