Man detained from makng off with hay
Chris Barker, 35 of Porterville, was arrested Wednesday when he allegedly sold hay that did not belong to him.
Barker is facing charges of grand theft and possession of a short barreled rifle.
According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, deputies responded to the area of the 20100 block of Road 244 near Strathmore where the victim, Kevin Gibson, had located 240 bales of stolen hay which belonged to him. The victim reported the hay bales were taken from his property north of Porterville where he currently farms.
Gibson estimated the loss to be $2,880. He told the investigating deputy he was able to identify who had transported the hay to the location on Road 244 due to the close-knit community of the hay industry.
During the investigation, the subject who originally purchased the hay was contacted at his residence in the 20100 block of Road 244, Strathmore. The subject was cooperative and stated he contacted the resident nearest the hay bales on Avenue 178, to find out if they were for sale or who the rightful owner was, the TCSD reported. The occupant of the residence, Chris
Barker claimed ownership of the hay and sold the bales for $5 per bale, when the hay is currently selling for $12 per bale.
The Sheriff’s Department said Barker did not own the hay and did not have permission to sell the hay. He was taken into custody at his residence after being positively identified by the buyer and booked at the Porterville substation.
All of the hay was accounted for at the site and was returned to the victim.