SAN ANTONIO – A man is facing a third-degree felony theft charge after selling stolen copper and aluminum to several recycling facilities around San Antonio for years, even using his family members to help out, authorities said.
Special agents were able to surveil 54-year-old Joseph Ruiz and gather enough evidence to arrest him, they said.
An arrest affidavit said Ruiz was stealing the metals from his company and selling them. He sold to seven recycling centers in town, and in an effort to stay under the radar from law enforcement, he had three family members and two associates help him sell the stolen copper.
A representative from the company identified the material as scrap metal from a job site where Ruiz worked. The rep said Ruiz was not authorized to keep any of it, let alone sell it.
Ruiz said a supervisor gave him permission to take the scrap metals, but when authorities questioned the supervisor, he said he gave Ruiz permission to take a small amount of material, not hundreds of thousands of pounds of aluminum and copper on a weekly basis.