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Deputies and Search and Rescue members rescued a man from Utah Lake who is suspected in the theft of copper wire from Union Pacific Railroad in Spanish Fork Canyon.

On October 8, 2011, at about 11:20 A.M., a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office made contact with a male at Sandy Beach, along the south shore of Utah Lake. As the deputy approached the male ran from him. There was a car in the area from where the male ran and in the car was a large quantity of copper wire where the plastic coating had been burned from the wire. The type of wire in and around the car was consistent with the type of wire used by rail road operations adjacent to tracks in various areas. Union Pacific Railroad investigators have reported numerous thefts of this wire from lines near tracks in the Spanish Fork Canyon area. During this time thousands of feet of this wire have been stolen.

Deputies spent several hours looking for the male who ran. They were able to identify the owner of the car and she responded to pick it up. The owner of the car also identified the male who had been driving her car as her boyfriend.

Later, at about 6:44 P.M., deputies were dispatched to a report of a male calling for help in the Mud Lake area of Utah Lake. Mud Lake is located in the south east part of Utah Lake between Provo and Springville along I-15. Individuals duck hunting in the Mud Lake area were able to hear the voice but could not get close enough to help. Members of Utah County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to search for the person. One SAR member used his helicopter and was able to locate the male who was calling for help. The pilot, along with a spotter, guided rescuers to the male, who was identified as the male deputies were looking for from Sandy Beach earlier in the day.

The stranded male was identified as Reo Guy Watts, age 30, of Springville. Watts was suffering from hypothermia and was treated at the scene by Paramedics with Provo Fire Department. Watts was then transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released. Deputies will take Watts to the Utah County Jail and book him on charges of Possession of Stolen Property, a 3rd degree felony, Obstruction of Justice, and Possession of Burglary Tools. Watts is also on felony probation with the Utah Department of Adult Probation and Parole and was wearing an electronic tracking device. AP&P agents will place a hold on Watts at the jail and he will be held pending a hearing regarding his probation status.

For questions call Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff’s Office, (801)404-1912.