Fresno, Calif., (August 7, 2017) – Hello summer! As the weather has heated up, so have ag-related thefts. Particularly over the last month, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department Ag Task Force (AGTF) has seen an increase in agricultural thefts. One specific case described below is a strong example of how a victim can help themselves and lead us to arrest those responsible for the crime.
It’s not uncommon for ATVs to be stolen from ranches and farms. Recently, one was stolen off of a shipping container in a pistachio field near the intersection of American and Santa Fe Avenues. The unknown suspect(s) did about $2,000 worth of damage to the shipping container to steal an ATV worth about $5,000. What the offender(s) didn’t know was the farming operation had equipped the ATV with a GPS tracking device. The victim tracked the stolen equipment with an app on his phone to the area of San Mateo and Floral Avenues. The owner contacted the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department and the AGTF. As the AGTF detectives arrived, they saw the suspect in possession of the stolen ATV. The offender quickly fled the scene, and a patrol deputy in a marked unit pursued the suspect until he crashed and was arrested. The AGTF checked the scene where the ATV was found and discovered a stolen John Deere Gator from a separate burglary. The suspect was charged with both thefts. We were able to recover the ATV and the Gator because the victim worked with us. The offender thought we dropped out of the sky and couldn’t believe his “luck.” It wasn’t luck; just a great example of crime prevention measures community member can take.
On another note, CHP Officer Nate Calk, who has been with the AGTF for over 12 years, has been reassigned. He has been of great service to the Ag community and a valued member of our team. He will be missed. Nate, thank you for service and be safe.
As always, we are here to serve. Please contact if we can be of service. The AGTF can be reached at 559-600-8150 and AgCrimes@fresnosheriff.org.