Irvin Turpitt, 53, of Modesto
MODESTO, Calif. - An arrest of a man found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle led to the return of horse-riding equipment taken from a local family, say authorities.
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said deputies responded to a call of a suspicious person and vehicle on the the 3800 block of Service Road in Modesto Tuesday. Upon arrival, deputies found 53-year-old Irvin Turpitt of Modesto, who attempted to flee.
Turpitt, a known career criminal, was quickly apprehended and found to be in possession of a stolen truck, as well as narcotics. He also had several outstanding warrants for his arrest, said Christianson.
A subsequent search of the truck returned horse tack, including saddle pads, bridles, cinches, breast collars and billets, said Christianson.
Assisting detectives, aware of recent saddle and tack thefts in the Oakdale area, photographed the stolen property and contacted Tom Orvis of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau, in partnership with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office uses social media and email to produce Rural Crime Alerts in which public safety information is shared with the entire Agricultural Community in an effort to promote neighborhood watch and crime prevention.
Orvis sent out alert information and posted the pictures of the stolen equipment on the Farm Bureau's Facebook page. Within two hours, a call was received from someone positively identifying the property which was used by their children at junior rodeos.
Turpitt was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on a variety of felony charges including possession of stolen property, auto theft, possession of dangerous narcotics and outstanding warrants.