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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Oilfield theft photographed, Taft man arrested

  • Rural Crimes Unit says a lot of people recognized photos of suspect accused of stealing air compressor
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  • A man who is apparently no stranger to anyone in the oilfields has been arrested by the Kern County Sheriff's Rural Crimes Investigations Unit and charged with stealing an air compressor.
    The suspect was photographed at the crime scene and his picture was identified by "multiple oilfield employers," Sheriff's Sgt., Robert Winn said.
    Those companies were instrumental in solving the crime, Winn said.
    "The Rural Crime Investigation Unit would like to thank the allied agencies for their assistance in the investigation and the oil industry for their assistance in identifying the suspect," Winn said.
    The theft of the Dewalt air compressor was reported to the RCIU by employees of Venoco Inc.
    Detectives started an investigation and Venoco furnished photographic evidence of the crime, Winn. said.
    The company also circulated the photographs to other oil-related companies in the area and it seemed like a lot of people recognized the person in the photos.
    "Detectives received information from multiple oilfield employers identifying the suspect," Winn said
    RCIU detectives, accompanied by Taft Police and California Department of Corrections parole officers completed the investigation and Russell Jones, 34, was arrested at 207 General Petroleum Ave.
    The compressor was also recovered, Winn said, and returned to Venoco.
    Jones was arrested and booked into the Taft jail on charges of petty theft and possession of stolen property.
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