Ventura County – If there is a single, most important tenet of professional burglars, it is this: whenever one is perpetrating the surreptitious theft of property belonging to others, the act should be conducted neither in view of the property owners, uninvolved third parties, or any representative of a law enforcement agency. Any burglar worth his or her salt would consider that, presumably, “Rule #1”.
Based upon the events transpiring in proximity to an active construction site in the late afternoon hours of February 8th in the city of Fillmore, however, it’s apparent that at least one local area burglar forgot to read “Rule #1”. It was at approximately 5:00 p.m. on that Sunday—a time and day when any activity at a construction site might raise the eyebrow of any casual passerby—that a Ventura County Sheriff patrol deputy observed Daniel Freitas, a 33-year old local resident apparently “at work” on the site and stopped to check things out.
Freitas, who was properly garbed as a construction worker, complete with bright yellow vest and hard hat, appeared to the deputy to be in the act of covering some equipment and property with a water-protective tarp in an area adjacent to a storage shed. But, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. John Fox, when the deputy made contact with Freitas and engaged him in conversation regarding his activity on the premises, “the deputy discovered the storage building had been forced open and thousands of dollars in tools removed.”
It didn’t take the deputy long to come to the conclusion that Freitas was, in fact, trespassing, was not employed in any construction labor capacity, and was concealing stolen tools with the intent to retrieve them at a later time.
Hard hat or not, Freitas was arrested at the scene, transported to Ventura County Jail, and booked on charges of commercial burglary with his bail set at $70,000. While in custody, one might surmise that Freitas will have better access to “Rule #1” and all professional protocols pertaining to his apparent vocation.
Photo: courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking
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