Water theft case set for December

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Joel Vargas-Hernandez, 28, of Mead Valley, who was arrested in September for suspicion of the theft of water from the Pine Cove Water District, had an arraignment in another case last week.

The judge in that case, involving disorderly conduct and prostitution, set a trial readiness conference for Dec. 18.

On Nov. 8, the Riverside County District Attorney’s office filed a felony charge for theft of utility services (in this case water), with value exceeding $950. A second charge filed was a misdemeanor for defacing public property with graffiti.

When PCWD discovered the water theft, General Manager Jerry Holldber estimated that more than 2.3 million gallons of water was taken and its value exceeded $17,000.

Vargas has been released on $52,000 bail.

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