A subcontractor working at the Verizon California facility in Goleta has been arrested on charges of grand theft for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 worth of copper telephone cable.

According to the sheriff’s department, the thefts began in March, when large amounts of copper wire began disappearing from the facility’s fenced yard at 424 Patterson Ave. The suspect appeared to have entered the yard at least seven times and stole or damaged large amounts of copper wire. It is popular with thieves because of the increasing price of the metal and the ease with which it can be sold to scrap dealers or recyclers.

A two-month investigation led deputies to suspect Greg Contreras, 49. Contreras, a former Verizon employee, was subcontracting for the company at the time of the thefts.

He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on June 2. Bail is set at $150,000.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at sfernandez@noozhawk.com.