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Police: Man caused $10K in damage trying to steal wire




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An Albuquerque man was accused of causing over $10,000 in damages at Maggie Cordova Elementary on Feb. 17, according to Rio Rancho Police Department’s criminal complaint.

Nicolas Scarton, 34, was arrested on two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of possession of controlled substances, felony criminal damage to property, attempt to commit a felony and tampering with evidence, according to the criminal complaint.

Police were called to the elementary school around 6 p.m. that day, after a report of a subject with a truck backed up with a chain connected to the school’s transformer.

Officers arrived on the scene to find Scarton in his truck, which was tied to the transformer with a metal chain. According to the complaint, he got out of his vehicle and began to walk away toward the front of his truck when he noticed the police.

Officers called him back at gunpoint. The complaint says officers observed two small bags of what appeared to be methamphetamine and one small bag of what appeared to be heroin between the hood and top of the grill of the vehicle.

Inside the vehicle’s bed, RRPD found copper wiring, bolt-cutters, a bicycle and various other metallic components. The officers then seized the vehicle for evidence and search warrant, according to the complaint.

At the school, officers found signs of attempted forced entry into the electrical storage room. All neutral wires of the transformer were severed, with damage so bad that coolant within the transformer was leaking and pooling on the ground, according to police.

Police said PNM and the school were informed of the incident. PNM estimated the damages to exceed $10,000.

Scarton was booked into Sandoval County Detention Center, the complaint concluded.

Scarton’s attorney, Patrick J. Martinez, did not return a phone call seeking comment.