Grand Theft Suspect Interviewed on TV, Spotted by Victims

Grand Theft Suspect Interviewed on TV, Spotted by Victims

John Vincent Coppini

SAN BERNARDINO – One day after law enforcement released a picture of a grand theft burglary suspect, investigation resulted in the arrest of the man believed to have taken $30,000 in tools during the Blue Cut Fire.

Law enforcement agencies were seeking the suspect, who had posed on television as the caretaker of a property that had been eventually burglarized when the owners were evacuated for their safety.

John Vincent Coppini was arrested on September 1 by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies. Coppini, 44, of Hesperia, is the man they believe was responsible for taking tools from a residence that had been evacuated.

Two weeks earlier, on August 17, during media coverage of the Blue Cut Fire, Michael and Crystal Armstrong contacted law enforcement about missing tools from their property.

The fire destroyed thousands of acres between San Bernardino and the high desert communities that include Phelan and Wrightwood. The Armstrongs were instructed by deputies to evacuate their property during the fire, which was not contained at that time.

The threat of the fire, said officials, was posing a direct threat to the Armstrongs and their residence.

After leaving, the Armstrongs were watching the news coverage of the fire in their area. During an interview on Channel 9 news, the male subject being interviewed, later identified as Coppini, was standing in front of their burned house on the 8600 block of Swarthout Canyon Road.

He was claiming to be the caretaker of the property.

When the Armstrongs returned to their property, they discovered their truck and several tools were missing.
While the truck was eventually recovered, their missing tools were not.

Valued at approximately $30,000, the tools are critical to the success of Michael Armstrong’s diesel mechanic repair business.

The tools were described as a trig welder, hydraulic punch, cable saw, hydraulic hose crimper, roto hammer, band saw, hydraulic hole punch, right angle drill, and thousands of metric and SAE sockets wrenches.

Coppini was taken into custody at a residence in the 11200 block of Oakwood Avenue in Hesperia, according to county jail records. He had been booked in county jail on suspicion of grand theft during a state emergency, plus charges of vandalism and burglary and eventually released on bail.

No court appearances have yet been scheduled.

Grand Theft Suspect Interviewed on TV, Spotted by Victims was last modified: September 16th, 2016 by admin
Categories: San Bernardino

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