BARSTOW — Officer Monte Franklin of the Barstow Police Department was honored for his community service by the Holiday Homes Mobile Home Park after retrieving certain items that were stolen from its storage unit in February.
Franklin was honored and given a certificate that named the officer as Holiday Homes “Best Friend” during the annual park potluck on March 13 after he and his colleagues were able to apprehend three suspects who stole two chainsaws from the mobile home park's property.
“It meant a lot to me to be given this award,” Franklin said. “In most cases, people tend to call to complain or say something negative rather than making a formal complaint on the phone. Holiday Homes was really kind and specific when they told me what had happened.”
“We had a break-in at our shop and two chainsaws were stolen and Officer Franklin was called to investigate,” said Holiday Homes Park Manager Susan Nikkel. “Officer Franklin responded and within a couple of hours he was walking back in our clubhouse with the chainsaws in tow.”
According to Franklin, officers from the Barstow Police Department received reports about a burglary at Holiday Homes on Feb. 17 just before 11:30 a.m. Franklin arrived and was shown where the burglary occurred by staff members.
“The shed where they stored their stuff was kicked in and the lock was broken off,” Franklin said. “After, we checked out the home's surveillance footage to see if we could get a description on the person who had done this.”
As he watched the footage, Franklin noticed a car driving around the area. The vehicle suddenly stopped and a male passenger jumped out of the backseat. The suspect then approached the shed and “boots the door open” and ran out with the two chainsaws, jumped back into the car and the vehicle fled.
“Playing with their surveillance angles, we were able to see which way the vehicle fled,” Franklin said. “We were also able to get the license plate number and after running the plate the results of the car showed it come from Rialto.”
Franklin then decided to look around the area and within a few minutes he spotted the vehicle parked at a nearby motel. Franklin called for backup and three suspects found sitting in the car were arrested the stolen property was retrieved.
“I was really surprised and thankful how fast Officer Franklin was able to find our stolen property as well as catching the person,” said Holiday Homes Assistant Manager Jeri Justus. “We just want to thank Officer Franklin and all the officers for their hard work and service to keep our community safe.”
Monica Solano can be reached at MSolano@VVDailyPress.com or at 760-951-6231. Follow her on Twitter @DP_MonicaInes.