Locals nabbed for sprinkler equipment theft
Over $6,000 worth allegedly recycled for scrap metal
NEWBERRY SPRINGS • Charges were filed Thursday against two Newberry Springs men suspected of ripping off more than $6,000 worth of irrigation sprinkler equipment from a local farmer.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office charged David Moceri, 45, and Duane Crampton, 50, with grand theft and receiving stolen property, Deputy District Attorney Shannon Faherty confirmed by phone.
At approximately noon on Tuesday, sheriff’s deputies stopped Moceri and Crampton for driving with long-expired tags on Minneola Road in Newberry Springs, according to a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department news release.
As the vehicle was being towed, a local farmer rode up on horseback and reported to deputies that irrigation sprinkler equipment had recently been stolen from his property, sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Burgess said.
The farmer had followed tire tracks from his property to the location of the traffic stop, according to the news release.
The stolen equipment was not found in the vehicle, but tire tracks matched the vehicle the suspects were riding in, Burgess confirmed.
Deputies searched Moceri’s nearby home where they located irrigation pipe positively identified as belonging to the victim, according to the news release.
The release stated that Moceri and Crampton were observed Monday on surveillance video recycling sprinkler equipment for its scrap metal value. The equipment was identified again as being consistent with the type stolen from the victim’s property.
Both men were arrested for grand theft and receiving stolen property and booked at the Barstow jail Tuesday, according to arrest records.
Moceri has a prior strike for a robbery conviction in Washington and has served prison sentences in California in 2007 and 2008 for auto theft and receiving stolen property, court records show.
Moceri is also currently on probation for two separate felony counts of possession of a controlled substance originating out of Victorville, according to court records.
Crampton is currently on probation for a misdemeanor conviction of possession of an assault weapon, court records show.
Moceri was not granted bail due to his parole status, according to the news release.
Crampton was released out of custody on $50,000 bail Wednesday, booking records show.
Both men are due in Barstow Superior Court on Tuesday for a pre-preliminary hearing, court records show.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.