Four arrested for theft, drug crimes


Officers have been busy in the New Year dealing with an old problem: drug-related crimes. In the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, Jan. 5, two subjects — a male and a female — stole a 2003 Bombardier ATV and a Honda motorcycle from a Washburn Drive ranch property.

Problematic for investigators is how the suspects knew to drive the ATV and their borrowed pickup with the motorcycle loaded in the back to where a Tru trailer was parked at a residence on Alta Acres Drive. The utility trailer belongs to Michael and Jana Botkin and had recently been emptied of old roofing materials.

The pickup drove into the Botkins’ driveway with high beams on and awakened the couple who called 911 and watched from inside their home as the duo loaded the quad onto the trailer. 

The thieves drove off with the stolen trailer. The pickup and trailer with ATV and motorcycle were intercepted at the bottom of Lemon Hill by a Tulare County Sheriff’s deputy who was in Woodlake and arrived first on the scene. The suspects, Daniel Oldham, 36, of Visalia and Nicolette Fairchild, 34, of Porterville, were arrested by the CHP and taken into custody at the scene.

Oldham, who reportedly has a prior conviction for auto theft, was on probation and now has a preliminary hearing on new charges of auto theft and possession of stolen property. The court date is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20. 

According to a CHP report, Fairchild was not charged and released.       

In a separate incident two days later, Mark Frick, Three Rivers resident deputy, spotted a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot near the boat ramp at Slick Rock Recreation Area at Lake Kaweah. After contacting the subjects who were in one of the shower stalls, Officer Frick spotted a vial containing methamphetamine. 

During the investigation, Deputy Frick found another bindle of meth and two glass pipes of which a female suspect claimed ownership. The suspect, Linda Worthsides, 53, of Visalia, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a narcotics smoking device and for an outstanding warrant.

The male subject was released at the scene; Worthsides was transported to Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia and booked.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department deputies were checking an abandoned trailer on Hawk Hollow Drive in Three Rivers where they made contact with Jeffrey Rapp, 31, of Three Rivers. Rapp was determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance and was also taken into custody for making criminal threats during a previous incident at Reimer’s Candies and Gifts.

Anyone with information about these cases or any crime should call Deputy Frick, 740-8894.  

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