Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to Ronald F. Schmidt, who was arrested for copper theft? The last story I read about him being arrested in January 2012. Was he convicted for any of the crimes in which he was originally arrested?
Submitted by: Productive Citizen, Sacramento
ANSWER: Ronald F. Schmidt and a co-defendant, Kenneth Thomas, pleaded no contest to grand theft charges.
According to a story in The Bee, Sacramento police arrested the two men in January 2012 on suspicion of stealing 300 feet of copper wire in the Natomas area.
Officers had been told to watch out for copper thieves who had hit the Westshore neighborhood the previous week. About 12:30 a.m., officers patrolling near Natomas Central Drive and Hovanian Drive stopped a man standing near a U-Haul truck. Kenneth Thomas ran but was caught.
Schmidt was arrested at his home.
Copper wire, stolen from in-ground utility boxes were found in the truck, which police said was being used as a shield to carry out the theft.
According to Superior Court online records, Schmidt was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail, and Thomas was sentenced to two years in jail.
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