General Crime

* Solar panel theft in Monterey County several teenagers have been caught

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Several Monterey County teenagers may face grand theft and trespassing charges after allegedly being caught trying to steal a solar panel and battery from a ranch, Monterey County sheriff’s officials said.At approximately 9 a.m. Sunday, about five male and female youths between the ages of 14 and 16 trespassed onto a ranch on Star Road, east of the Salinas River, in the community of San Lucas, according to the sheriff’s office. The juveniles allegedly detached a solar panel and battery used to power an electric fence, wrapped the stolen property in plastic, and buried it, allegedly with the intention of retrieving it the next day to sell it, investigators said.The sheriff’s office estimated the value of the stolen property to be about $750.After the property owner reported the theft, responding deputies followed footprints from the site of the missing solar panel to a nearby home, according to the sheriff’s office.Investigators identified several young suspects in the case, and sheriff’s deputies detained them.The stolen property was recovered and returned to the rancher.

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