The Main Stream

May 10, 2012 1:23 AM

Business owner camps out to catch copper thief

TUCSON - A Tucson man, fed up with copper thieves, takes matters into his own hands helping police make a quick arrest.

Julian Nunez, the owner of a vacant restaurant on Stone, hatched a plan to catch the copper thieves after several break-ins and extensive damage.

Nunez said he contacted the police about the break-ins, but the response time was extremely slow, so he decided to camp out in his restaurant to catch the thieves.

He said, "I basically took it upon myself after so many unsuccessful times. I said I gotta take it into my own hands. I started camping out."

One night, as he suspected, someone broke into the restaurant. Nunez took his bat and confronted the thief. He said, "I commanded him to get down on the floor. To which he started crying and asking for me not to beat on him."

Police arrested the suspect which is good news but the Nunez said the bad news is an arrest does nothing to compensate him for his loss. He said, "Almost up to $100,000 worth in damage that's basically on me to fix."

We contacted TPD about the arrest and the suspect but they said they didn't have time to look up information on it. However, the victim said the detectives told him this was not the suspect's first rodeo and that he had already spent time in prison for copper theft.

Nunez said that makes this arrest that much more important. He said, "I'm relieved I took this guy off the streets that could be harming me some more, or other business owners or other residential people."

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