In December, the Inyo Sheriff’s Office arrested three men in connection with equipment thefts from the Department of Water and Power. Now, the Sheriff and other law enforcement agencies are investigating other equipment thefts from several construction sites in Inyo, Kern and San Bernardino Counties.
Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze said easily moveable tools and other equipment have been stolen from sites in Bishop, at the Owens Dry Lake, Lake Minerals, DWP and other sites. The Sheriff said, “Apparently a gang group is at work from the Oregon border and south into California. Their method of operation,” he said, “is the same.”
Sheriff Lutze said members of the group are likely hanging around an area to check out the best way to take “easily stolen items like hand tools.” The Sheriff said the suspects are taking things “sold easily and carried away easily.”
Sheriff Lutze said his Department continues to work with investigators from Kern County, Nevada and Los Angeles. Lutze said initial calls after thefts in Inyo revealed a pattern that thefts would then occur in a nearby county.