Vehicle break-in occurs behind Village Shopping Center


There’s a good chance the thief (or thieves) had no idea what they were stealing. It looked digital and expensive so it must be easy to sell and worth plenty. 
But in the case of the break-in to a vehicle that occurred at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 10, in the parking area behind Casa Mendoza restaurant in Three Rivers, the perpetrator might end up with the short end of the stick. A surveyor’s measuring stick, that is.
It was easy to see that the unmarked 2017 Ford Transit Connect that belongs to California Land Surveying, based in Three Rivers, was loaded with something in cases. It didn’t take much to smash out two side windows and to access those cases. 
What was inside were surveying tools, the most valuable of which were listed in the incident report as a laser scanner ($30,000), a high-powered base radio ($5,000), and a battery charger ($1,000). Of course, several thousands of dollars in damage were inflicted upon the Transit Connect too. 
The thieves removed the equipment from the cases then split with their loot, leaving the cases behind. 
Nobody saw a vehicle or noticed anything suspicious. A security camera focused on the rear of the building and parking area captured images of the incident and detectives from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office spent several hours at the scene collecting evidence but aren’t saying if anything is definitive enough to identify suspects or make an arrest. 
The estimated value of the loss and damage to the property was listed on the report in excess of $40,000. Sage Root, who is employed by the locally owned company, said he couldn’t imagine what the thieves might do with surveying equipment. He also wondered why the items would be removed from their custom cases.     
“What’s really valuable is all the data, and that’s stored on computers in the office,” Root said. “The things they took is just stuff and it all can be replaced.”
Anyone who might have witnessed something or has information in case is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s dispatcher at 731-6221. To remain anonymous, email or     voicemail or text (559) 725-4194. The TipNow program receives anonymous tips from the community (sender information is encrypted) to help prevent crime, theft, and emergency situations.

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