FRESNO — The Fresno County Sheriff’s Department announced on Monday that a wanted parolee was arrested during a traffic stop in southeast Fresno over the weekend.
John Russell Crookham, 41, has been wanted for the past two months by Fresno County law enforcement. Crookham was stopped by deputies around 10 p.m. Saturday night near the intersection of Clovis and Gettysburg, which is located in the Clovis suburb of the city.
Crookham was a passenger inside a white Toyota Tercell. Deputies recognized him as asked for his identification during the traffic stop for unspecified vehicle code violations. Crookham gave deputies a false name, but was still arrested on outstanding felony warrants.
Deputies also discovered a backpack on the floorboard inside the car where Crookham was sitting. Inside the backpack were several car keys, some of them shaved or stolen as a way to help steal cars; a working police scanner; several hypodermic syringes and a loaded nine-millimeter handgun.
The driver of the Tercell may have been ignorant of Crookham’s status as a wanted car thief, said sheriff’s spokeman Chris Curtice.
“Apparently, the driver did not know Crookham and was giving him a ride as a favor for a friend,” Curtice said.
Curtice also confirmed that the gun was reported stolen by the Clovis Police Department.
Crookham will be facing charges relating to violating the terms of his parole, as well as for possessing burglary tools, stolen property and firearms.