City Yard heist hurts Lindsay

By C.J. Barbre

It was Saturday night, Oct. 23, when thieves cut through the back fence at the City of Lindsay Corporation Yard at 476 N. Mt. Vernon Ave.

Public Works Supervisor Derron "Sam" Dillard, checked in on Sunday morning, discovered the theft and notified the police. Officer Chavez responded. Dillard showed him the skinny slot at the bottom of the chain link fence that had been cut for the initial entry. Dillard said they cut the lock on the gate and cooly drove out in a city-owned, white 1986 GMC S-15 truck with a gray tandem axle trailer, Calif. license plate 1086951, attached.

Dillard said the thieves had taken their time. He said before exiting, they broke into almost every vehicle and rifled through every glove compartment, looking for who knows what. But it was methodical. They also made off with a Bear Cat brand towable chipper, a Scag brand riding lawn mower - the great big one Public Works uses on parks; a Cushman gas-powered vehicle; two weed-eaters, two blowers; a set of Victor torches with oxy-acetaline tanks; four tool boxes and two floor jacks.

Office Chavez found the GMC truck behind the car wash at Mike Butler's Garage on Hermosa Street at Mt. Vernon Avenue. Dillard speculated that the thieves unhooked the trailer and hooked it up to their own vehicle to make off with the rest of the goods. The chipper turned up in a grove on Mariposa Street west of Highway 65. The remaining items were entered into the stolen vehicle system (SVS) and automated property system (APS) for felony thefts. A "Be on the Lookout" (BOL) was broadcast.

"We can't have this happening," said City Manager Scot Townsend in a brief phone interview the following Wednesday.

He said the building has an alarm system, but there is nothing in place for the "large fenced-in open area," where things like trucks, trailers, towable chippers and riding lawn mowers are stored. He said they will be talking with the alarm company which is going out to check the situation.

Dillard said the building got hit eight months ago. "They got a bunch of equipment from inside before we had the alarms installed." He said they plan to install motion sensors and some sort of monitoring device. He said he didn't think a guard dog was viable because of the potential for lawsuits

"I don't know that a dog is out of the question," said Public Safety Director Bert Garzelli. "We are going to do something."

Because Lindsay is self-insured, Dillard said they have to lose a very "big amount" before supplemental insurance kicks in. "It's a loss to us that hurts!" he said.

Nothing more had been recovered by press time.

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