Thief faces prison after stealing railroad signal cables, delaying trains


  Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that on Wednesday, a Yolo County jury found 31-year-old Jason Stark of West Sacramento guilty of felony vandalism, felony petty theft with prior convictions and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.    

   According to the D.A.’s office:

  “On June 25, 2013, the Union Pacific Railroad controller in Omaha, Nebraska got a signal alert to a problem on the tracks in West Sacramento.  The controller immediately dispatched a signalman who arrived within 20 minutes.  The signalman saw Stark quickly shoving railroad signal cables that he had cut up into his backpack then fleeing on his bicycle down Sacramento Avenue.  The signalman immediately called West Sacramento police, who intercepted Stark minutes later catching him with the wire cables, a knife to cut them, and narcotics paraphernalia.”

  Typically, thieves take copper wire and other metals from public fixtures and businesses to sell them for their recycling value.   

   “Although the value of the wire was insignificant,” continued the statement from the D.A.’s office, “the cost to the general public and the railroad was extraordinary. When the alarm of a problem on the railroad track was sounded in Omaha, Nebraska, train traffic on the entire line from California to Nebraska was halted until the source and cause of the alarm could be determined. This required a delay in a countless number of trains on that entire section of track. The dollar amount of that loss is unknown.  

   “Stark had previously been convicted of three separate crimes for theft, and as a result is subject to enhanced punishments.

  “Stark is facing a local prison sentence of up to 3 years, 8 months.  Sentencing is scheduled for October 18, 2013 in front of the Honorable Janet Gaard.” 

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