These greedy thieves ended up with all kinds of copper.
A "shower of sparks" on a roadway near San Francisco's Pier 90 early Tuesday reportedly alerted cops to a vehicle that was hauling a heap of stolen copper.
Police officers who were patrolling the area of Third Street and Cargo Way about 12:45 a.m. noticed sparks coming from the rear of the 1993 Toyota Camry as the trunk scraped along the asphalt.
The officers reportedly stopped the car containing two men a few blocks away and noticed a hacksaw at the passenger's feet.
"They asked the driver why his vehicle was so low to the ground and he replied that the trunk was weighed down with some metal that he had found," police said.
The entire trunk was reportedly filled with metal, raising suspicion. Following an investigation it was discovered that the "large gauge copper wires and cables" had been stolen from a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. facility.
Some of the copper had been "stripped of its insulation," they added.
They further learned the driver, identified as 52-year-old transient Frank Ryan, had a suspended license.
Both Ryan and his passenger, 58-year-old transient Wayne Dalton, have been charged with felonies that include grand theft of copper materials and receiving stolen property, along with a misdemeanor for possessing burglary tools, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.
On Thursday, the pair pleaded not guilty to the charges and are scheduled to attend a pre-trial conference Sept. 30.