WEATHER »
Alberto Andrade

SBCSO

Alberto Andrade


Five Arrested in Farm Equipment Thefts


After months of pouring through 20 cases, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Rural Crime Unit arrested five suspects related to a string of farm equipment thefts in the Santa Maria and Nipomo areas at the end of last year.

Hector Ramirez, Alberto Andrade, Rigoberto Avila, Anthony Santella, and Marcos Cerda were taken into custody and charged with counts ranging from grand theft to conspiracy to commit a crime. A sixth suspect, Maria De Olmas, had already been charged and is facing two related counts.

The almost $40,000 worth of equipment was found in a few storage lockers in December. The haul included water pumps, generators, and copper wiring, as well as expensive agricultural chemicals and a wide range of farming tools. Most had been marked by the original owners and is being returned to them. The suspects were allegedly re-selling equipment to other unknowing farmers and street merchants.

The Sheriff’s Office extended its thanks to citizens who assisted the investigation with multiple anonymous tips.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Bellosguardo to Host Big-Bucks Gala

The private, black-tie fundraiser is set for October 14.

City Loses Trip-and-Fall Verdict

The injured woman wins $105,000.

Phone Scams Spike Countywide

Callers are claiming to be IRS and Homeland Security agents.

Longtime Fiesta Soldados Given the Boot 

Ousted Marc Martinez said Old Spanish Days has become "less inclusive."

Los Padres Forest Officials Ban Unpermitted Campfires

Wildfire conditions prompt caution.