A message from Detective Chip Cadman:
Farm Watch readers, throughout the month of April there had been a high volume of thefts occurring Ventura County wide. The thefts range from metals (cooper wire, brass, etc.), construction equipment, pressure washers, small field irrigation pumps, hand tools, crops and now small livestock. These thefts appear to be crimes of opportunity. Please be vigilant in securing your valuable equipment and do not leave property unattended in accessible areas.
On Monday, April 25th, Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a burglary in the 500 block of Wolff Road, in the unincorporated area of Oxnard. As deputies and a K-9 arrived to the scene, they discovered suspect Jose Lopez-Gomez, 28, near the supply building. Gomez had used a tool to cut through the wire fencing around the property and then cut away the door hinge on the building gaining entry. Once inside the building, Gomez began to steal copper wiring.
Deputies detained Gomez and later arrested him for the following violations; Burglary [459 California Penal Code], Carry Concealed Dirk or Dagger [21310 California Penal Code], Possession Of Burglar Tools [466 California Penal Code], Vandalism [594(b)(1) California Penal Code], and Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance [11550(a) Health & Safety Code]. Due to the prompt response from Deputies and with the assistance of a K-9, Gomez will be held accountable. There was no vehicle associated with Gomez.
Several farms and ranches throughout the State of California have experienced a rise in these types of crimes. Please take additional steps to find solutions to fix or put into place security measures to protect your property. If you witness suspicious activities, immediately report them to Sheriff’s Dispatch. Look at the below posted photograph of the suspect and see if you recognize him. If seen on or around your property, contact Sheriff’s Dispatch immediately and report a suspicious person near or on you property.
Advice for Securing Farm and Ranch buildings:
Door hinges should be mounted on the interior of the door. Spot weld externally mounted hinge pins.
On doors use heavy-duty strike plates and long screws (such as 2½”).
Secure overhead rolling doors by drilling a hole in the track, above the roller, and insert a heavy padlock.
Double-swing doors should have a well secured track at its base so the door cannot be swung open enough for a person to gain entry.
Windows can be secured using a commercial slide-block or by drilling a downward hole through a bottom sash and inserting a pin.
Metal bars or heavy screens can be used to secure high-risk windows.
DO NOT LEAVE EQUIPMENT IN THE FIELD UNATTENDED!
The following advice is always wise if you suspect illegal activity on your property:
Call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 911.
Be a good witness, note suspect descriptions such as age, height, weight, facial hair, clothing, and shoe type.
If a vehicle is involved, obtain a license plate number and note vehicle color, body damage, bumper stickers, camper shell, after market tires and wheels, etc.
Provide the dispatcher with information about the time and last known direction of travel.
Agricultural Crimes Detective Chip Cadman
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 805-384-4726 Work Cell: 805-797-6424; Sheriff’s Office Dispatch 805-654-9511.
Be alert and stay safe!