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Construction tools, equipment recovered from homeless encampment in Santa Clara riverbed

Thousands of dollars worth of stolen construction tools and other items were recovered from an encampment in the Santa Clara River bottom during a multi-agency sweep last week.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Paula Police Department conducted the joint operation after receiving several reports of rising thefts in the area.

In July, Fillmore detectives from the Sheriff’s Department arrested a 33-year-old suspect identified as a Santa Paula transient. The suspect allegedly stole 80 feet of telecommunication wires from Southern California Edison utility poles in unincorporated Ventura County near Santa Paula, which cost around $10,000 to fix and replace.

Additional theft suspects were identified during the investigation, which led to authorities sweeping the Santa Clara riverbed where they were believed to be living.

Nine people were arrested during the sweep, including some who had outstanding warrants. One of the people arrested was also booked for possession of a deadly weapon, the Sheriff’s Department said.

All nine were arrested and booked into the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura.

Authorities recovered a number of construction tools, compressors, gas tanks and an electric bike. The items are being held at the Santa Paula Police Station where they’ll be kept until their rightful owners come forward to claim them.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the Fillmore police station at 805-524-2233 or the Santa Paula Police Department at 805-525-4474.

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