Victim of Theft Attempts to Catch Culprit on “Game Cameras”


By Danielle Eden C. Silva

The victim testified he had to set up “game cameras” to catch pictures of the alleged culprit after having copper wire repeatedly stolen from a farm well.

On August 22, 2018, the victim noticed one of his wells had the copper wire stolen out of it. Since there was still more copper wire present, the victim decided to leave “game cameras” that would take pictures after the motion sensor was triggered. Pictures were sent on August 24, 29, and 30, 2018, but none of them clearly showed the face of the culprit. More wire had been stolen on the 24th.

The victim would more clearly see a vehicle and the culprit’s stature on August 31 after attempting to confront the culprit, Deputy District Attorney Sara Abrate shared during her opening statements to the jury. She also added that the defendant, Sonny John Linard, had been at Green Zone Recycling on August 22, 24, and August 31 to sell copper wire and had a vehicle matching the description the victim gave to authorities.

The defense, represented by Deputy Public Defender James Bradford, argued that while the victim had suffered from the thefts, that didn’t mean Mr. Linard had been the culprit. He stated the prosecution lacked the evidence to match the crime to the defendant.

Following opening statements, the victim testified. The victim is a farm manager for Bullseye Farms in Woodland and had been driving by a well on August 22, 2018. The well, a tall white structure with wires connecting the irrigation motor and the electric panels, had several copper wires removed and an electric panel pulled out.

The victim shared that copper wires were placed in cement and a PVC pipe to prevent theft. On August 22, broken cement and PVC pipe pieces could be seen on the ground next to tire marks and footprints.

After taking pictures of the scene, the victim reported the incident to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office and set up “game cameras” around the area: one near the well and another closer to the nearby county road. These game cameras would send pictures to his phone after the motion sensor was triggered. Due to poor cell service at the farm, however, there would be a delay in receiving the photos.

The victim noted that the alleged culprit returned on August 24 and stole more copper wiring. All that remained was the copper wiring in the pole connecting the the PG&E panel. While nothing was stolen on August 29, he did receive clearer pictures of a dark vehicle and the figure of the culprit.

On August 30, the victim and a coworker decided to wait near the scene to catch the culprit. They stationed their trucks at the nearby streets. The victim saw a car pass by him very slowly and soon received a message from his coworker. After failing to contact Deputy Thomas Hayes, the victim drove to the well and right behind a minivan. The victim hurriedly wrote down three or four digits from the license plate as the minivan drove away, and he remembered seeing a Raiders’ sticker on the back window.

The testimony of the victim will continue tomorrow morning.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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