BLM asks for public help on petroglyph case

A sierrawave.net reader provided  photos of the damage and thefts at the petroglyph site.  This shows an attempt to steal with four sides cut by a saw.

A sierrawave.net reader provided photos of the damage and thefts at the petroglyph site. This shows an attempt to steal with four sides cut by a saw.

Still no arrests in the theft and vandalism of ancient petroglyphs near Bishop, and Bureau of Land Management officials still will not say exactly where the recovered petroglyphs are now and where they were found.

Bernadette Lovato, BLM Field Office Manager in Bishop, said investigators continue to work on leads. She said because this is still an ongoing investigation, she could not reveal any other details. Reports had indicated that an anonymous letter revealed the location of the petroglyphs that were stolen in November. Lovato said she could not say anything except that an anonymous tip led to the discovery of the stolen petroglyphs.

Said Lovato, “I can not disclose where they were discovered or where they are right now. We have to preserve the integrity of the investigation.” She did say that BLM really needs the public’s help now. She said, “We believe there are individuals here who have knowledge of this act. We need specific information,” she said.

Anyone with information can call anonymously either of two BLM investigators at 760-937-0657 or 760-937-0301. Lovato had earlier said that reward funds totaling $9,000 have been donated or pledged for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

It was in mid-November when BLM revealed that someone had used ladders, generators and power saws to cut out and remove rock art at five locations, leaving many other artworks damaged. The petroglyphs represent activities that occurred at the site during the past 3,500 years, according to BLM.

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Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Bennett,

I heard the CHP officer took pictures of these people’s I.D. with his personal cell phone, is there any truth to this?

If it’s true is that Standard Operating Procedure for the CHP?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I will ask.
BK

Joe
Joe
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

What have you discovered?

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Haven’t talked to the Lt. yet. Will do.
BK

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Don’t know yet. Will do.
BK

Tom
Tom
8 years ago

Why aren’t cameras allowed???

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Tom….Apparently,because the CHP officer….and his wife say so…

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Good one Wayne. Hope their reading this.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

LOL Wayne .. yeah … it seems to be the case here .. if the agenda fits wear it. Seems to be a personal agenda here.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Once again on video with friends I’d tell him pack sand.

Alone I would be forced to allow him to violate my rights.

Perhaps it’s time for the CHP to retire with his big fat paycheck

Sean F
Sean F
8 years ago

You guys need to understand the difference between a “consensual contact” and a “detention” by a law enforcement officer . If an officer detains you or restricts your actions/movements you are being detained. For an officer to detain you he must have a suspicion that a crime has occurred and… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean F

Sure Sean come to the rescue, Obvious there is something that the public would like to know and I am glad to hear it will at least be looked into. Like I said before Sean the public might respect and take law enforcement serious if they held themselves to the… Read more »

Sean F
Sean F
8 years ago

Didn’t I just say report them if the actions were inappropriate? Did you read my entire post? And the vast majority of the public does respect, support, and take the police seriously. So Jeremiah you are saying the police should stay away from petroglyph sites when clealy there are thefts… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean F

Sean- 99% percent of the people who know Inyo and Mono County call this place a speed trap. Why? The other 1% work for the CHP.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean F

“Did the CHP officer ask to see ID or demand to see ID? There is a world of difference.” No there isn’t Sean, not in the real world. Say I’m out innocently standing around the petroglyphs, a crime scene in the middle of nowhere, and an armed man with a… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Regardless if the CHP asked for I.D. or demanded I.D. the 2nd you refuse to show them I.D. YOU ARE GOING TO GET THE BAD GUY TREATMENT If I had video and friends with me I would probably tell him “Sorry I’m not showing you my I.D.” Without the video… Read more »

Sean
Sean
8 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

@Tourbillon – yes there is a huge world of difference. Having worked patrol for 3 yrs as a Reserve Deputy and as an Officer for 9 1/2 years I can tell you many people would question why I was talking to them when I asked for ID during a consensual… Read more »

tourbillon
tourbillon
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean

I can indeed speak to whomever I please – but I don’t start the conversation by asking for ID or asking to search their car or inquiring about their probationary status. How dare you? Coming from an armed cop with no good reason other than curiosity, such nosiness is presumptuous… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  tourbillon

@Tourbillon,
Well said! maybe I should take notes on how to reply in the proper way, and how to get a point across.
Awesome comment.

sean
sean
8 years ago
Reply to  tourbillon

@Tourbillon – What can I add to that. Your comments say it all. Best of luck to you.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  tourbillon

I think .. the issue with LEO’s asking for ID is pretty much SOP, asking questions is part of their job, again it is all about how they act and if they are hastling you or just checking out the situation. I don’t see the sanctimony in or any sort… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean

Yeah and if you’re smoking your pot .. roll the windows down some so the cops don’t see the cloud filled compartment .. hehe

Seriously though .. as in everything in life .. it is all about attitude.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Sean F

Good points Sean, my beef as I have said before is individual officers who have some sort of power trip. I have dealt with all types over the years, some good and some bad. Some times departments will foster unprofessional behavior. I don’t dis all law enforcement, rather it is… Read more »

enoughalready
enoughalready
8 years ago

Hey Bennett –
Sounds like there is something going out there that might need your investigation and your spot light.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  enoughalready

Regarding the comment posted that said a CHP officer and his wife were spying on members of the public and then
asking for ID, etc. – we are now looking into that. We have also asked USFS to look into it.
Benett Kessler

Legal Dog
Legal Dog
8 years ago

If they searched your house without a warrant, you will very likely own their houses. It’s called a 1983 Civil Rights action. It is a Federal Civil Rights violation and they can be held personally liable as well as their agency. Taking your camera would also be a violation as… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

I think the Nazi CHP officer and his wife need to be put in check.

“SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS” hail Hitler!

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Big Al…I agree with you…IF I had info…which I don’t….I’d be a little bit leary to share that with an agency that would look at me as a suspect and maybe come by my home un-announced wanting to dig around my house with a warrant. ..and then threatening to come… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wow .. we can’t even take pictures of rock art, OMG then I’m going to jail. But they’re welcome to come by the house anytime, the only thing I have to hide is my photos. The thing is Wayne .. the CHP, Fish and Game are fully sworn officer s… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al….I ain’t no big tough guy, or doing a lot of big talking,but if USFS,BLM or DFG came knocking at my door,wanting in to do a bunch of searching of my home,if they had a warrant,a good chance they would be accompanied by a S/O… but if they didn’t,… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

So CHP is now playing detective? I always wondered what they were doing hiding in those bushes.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Let me try to understand this….your telling me a CHP officer’s wife is using a spotting scope on visitors of the area,and then reporting it to her CHP husband…and then he comes by asking for ID’s and takes photos of the vehicle and license plates ?…If so,WOW !!

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Team work Wayne … hehe

its the truth
its the truth
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

That’s exactly what the CHP and his wife are doing. The people that had this happen yesterday are credible sources. I think I would have to refuse to show him any id. and if they threaten to take my camera I’d dare them to do it. What the hell is… Read more »

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  its the truth

Pathetic! I am favoring the drone Idea more and more right now, to have them used as surveillance and monitoring only, I mean our liberties have already been infringed on so what difference does it make? only the guilty ones would have to worry. THEN there would be no combating… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Would not advise ever saying “our liberties have already been infringed on so what difference does it make?”!!!
When our right to privacy is violated, it can hurt many – even the innocent.
Benett Kessler

Jeremiah's stance
Jeremiah's stance
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I hear that. But where is the liberty now and days? it seems it doesn’t matter what I do as long as I conform to the status quo and not ask questions, and thats liberty just because I am not in jail? What I know infringes on ones Liberty now… Read more »

Legal Dog
Legal Dog
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

It must be Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched!

I am so dated now.

Chip Chipperson
Chip Chipperson
8 years ago

I dont understand, what highway was he patrolling?….the same idiot hassled me a month ago while i was taking photos…he called the BLM law enforcement lady and she took my info and threatened to take my camera[apparently you cant take pics out there]. 3 days later my door is forced… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Yes Chip and Dave, that is my biggest beef with these agency’s law enforcement, and other law enforcement agencies, the heavy handedness of some of the officers. I think some of them (BLM and Forest Service LEO’s and other employees suspect everyone, and yes all it serves to do it… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Chip I have made several arrowheads, I have even thrown some out here and there, hehe. The ones I have made out of glass must really throw some people for a loop.

Big Rick O'BRIEN
Big Rick O'BRIEN
8 years ago

I hope they had a warrant and if they didn’t , I’d be making some calls to an attorney. Hearing about all the crap that the BLM rangers, USFS rangers, and the DFWildlife wardens dish out, it seems to me that they’re sole mission in life is to do nothing… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago

No Warrant? Quit being sheep and stand up for your rights.

The don’t crush the brush lady needs to be stopped to.

What a bunch of wack jobs

Sean
Sean
8 years ago

Chip are you getting an attorney? What you are describing is a warrantless search. A serious violation of The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution. You should have also been given an evidence receipt for they arrowhead they confiscated. If you gave them your permission to come… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Dear Chip and Dave, I spoke with both the CHP Lieutenant in Bridgeport and the BLM Field Office Manager Bernadette Lovato about these concerns. The Lt. is investigating. Ms. Lovato said her agency has spoken to Dave about the situation. She said the land in question was not BLM in… Read more »

Legal Dog
Legal Dog
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Great follow up investigation Benett! Let us know what CHP says. You are the only investigative reporter in two counties who will ask the tough questions!

Dave
Dave
8 years ago

Dear Bernadette, I have been having problems out in Round Valley with people making their own rules. First, I was harassed by some lady out there for parking on a dirt road near Paradise. She left a “Don’t Crush the Brush” sign on my car and told me not to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

I was just out looking at the rock near Rovana and a CHP guy pulls up wants are ids. Said his wife spotted us from there house a mile away. I am like spotted us doing what, we are looking at a rock. CHP guys took pictures of my RV… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Realistic….In the Renee Fox case,not only was the family “told” not to go into the area and search (which isn’t something they can say without closing the area to everyone),but also the National search group Texas Equusearch was told their services were not needed….that she “was no longer in the… Read more »

Realistic
Realistic
8 years ago

You got it Wayne. Maybe they learned their lesson in the Renne Fox case. The Inyo Sheriff gave out information, did a poor search, gave up and a local guy on an ATV found her just off the road in a few hours. Same with the missing Germans. Tom Manhood… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Realistic….That seems to be the way some “authorities” around Inyo County are…In criminal cases such as this,especially when a $$$ reward is offered for info,you got to release some specifics in order to generate leads and interest..not keep everything a secret because of an on-going investigation. Some in Law Enforcement… Read more »

Realistic
Realistic
8 years ago

Wayne you are right. Sometimes you have to give out information to get information. Providing more pieces of the puzzle to the public may generate the leads that BLM needs. It’s not like the suspects don’t know where the items were found!

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

..If they really want any kind of info on this,chances are they’ll have to release some type of info in order to get it….not keep everything a secret,except to the “authorities” that,apparently,are having a hard time sorting it all out.And if I knew anything about it,it would be Inyo Law… Read more »