Man convicted of looting at Paradise Elementary School

A Paradise man pleaded no contest to stealing copper wire from the remains of Paradise Elementary School, which was destroyed in the Camp Fire.

Posted: May 6, 2019 4:35 PM
Updated: May 6, 2019 4:44 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A Paradise man pleaded no contest to stealing copper wire from the remains of Paradise Elementary School, which was destroyed in the Camp Fire.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Steven Michael Siwinski, 50, pleaded no contest to a single felony count of second-degree burglary. 

The case began on Jan. 10, 2019, when an employee of the Paradise Unified School District notified authorities of a suspicious vehicle at the school. 

Police found Siwinski near the suspicious vehicle wearing a worker's vest and aa hard hat. 

He had magnets with the phrase "Little Big Minds" on the doors of the vehicles, which police suspected were being used to make the vehicle appear to be a contractor's work vehicle. 

Witnesses said they saw Siwinski with bolt cutters and other tools, which he later admitted were used to collect copper wire. Authorities also found an electrical panel that appeared to have been taken apart. 

Ramsey said Siwinski will be sentenced on June 27, 2019, and faces three years in county jail. 

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