Two men arrested after stealing from oilfields

Over the past three months, detectives from the Rural Crime Investigation Unit of the Kern County Sheriff's Office have investigated similar thefts that occurred on Occidental Petroleum Company's property.

The items taken during the thefts were spools of copper wire, other tools, equipment and several vehicles.

The thefts of the items and vehicles have exceeded tens of thousands of dollars. During the investigation, detectives were able to identify one of the subjects and placed the subject under surveillance.

On June 30, as a result of the surveillance placed on the subject, detectives were able to determine the suspect, 33-year-old Bobby Davidson of Perris, Calif., traveled from Perris to Taft.

The suspect then went to a storage yard operated by Occidental Petroleum Company and stole several spools of copper wire and tools. 

Detectives located Davidson with the stolen items at a residence in Lake Elsinore, Calif. Detectives from the Rural Crime Investigation Unit and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department located an additional man at the residence. That suspect was identified as 57-year-old Thomas Baumbach of Perris.

Detectives arrested both men for the theft from the Occidental Petroleum Company’s storage yard.

A third person fled on foot as detectives arrived at the residence. An investigation into the identity of the third suspect is ongoing.

Detectives searched the residence in Lake Elsinore and located the stolen items from Occidental Petroleum Company and several other companies. Detectives were able to identify property belonging to Occidental Petroleum Company, Ardent Electric, the Griffin Company, McKee Electric, and other companies.

The investigation is ongoing and detectives are attempting to identify other victims and tie the suspects to other reported thefts.

The subjects stole over approximately $100,000 worth of equipment during the multiple incidents and investigators were able to recover $50,000 worth of equipment as result of the investigation.

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