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Thieves cause $95K in damages to tracks
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Two Manteca men were arrested by sheriff’s deputies Tuesday morning after allegedly dismantling components to a Union Pacific Railroad spur line at the rear of Ace Tomato Company on East French Camp Road.

Robert Daniel Johnson, 49, and Albert Francis Angulo Sr., 44, were charged with possession of stolen property, grand theft and misdemeanor trespass on railroad tracks and misdemeanor trespass on railroad property.

The two suspects were spotted by an Ace employee who reported seeing them driving a silver Toyota pickup onto railroad property and crossing over the main line track to the spur line which leads to the manufacturing plant.

He told company officials that the men were using pry bars and other devices to take the components apart and place them into the back of their truck.

Deputies said they numbered about 25 pieces of angle bars, holders and frogs which  serve as components to a left hand switch which leads onto the spur line to the Ace Tomato Company – owner of the spur line.

A Union Pacific Railroad train operations manager estimated the damage and loss of the steel at $2,000.  He further stated that the total replacement cost for the switch as well as for correcting the damage to the spur line would be about $95,000 – including the turnout and trade panels that were taken.

The stolen items were recovered from the bed of the pickup truck and returned to the Ace Tomato Co. The truck was stored, deputies said. According to the sheriff’s website on Wednesday neither man was being held in county jail.