Tehama County authorities identify person of interest in diesel fuel theft investigation
File photo of Travis Banghart / Tehama County Sheriff’s Office
Tehama County authorities have identified a person of interest in connection to a recent series of diesel fuel thefts.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the county has been plagued by diesel fuel thefts from multiple agricultural sites, with thousands of gallons of red dye diesel fuel having been stolen so far.
After identifying 37-year-old Travis Eugene Banghart as their person of interest, authorities secured a search warrant for his residence.
Though Banghart was not home at the time investigators served the warrant, they nonetheless reportedly found large amounts of red dye diesel fuel stored in barrels and plastic containers stored in the garage and around the property.
Investigators also discovered a trailer with the VIN ground off and outfitted with a makeshift electric fuel pump, and the license plate on the trailer came back as apparently stolen.
Banghart, who was aware that authorities were currently searching his property, spoke to them briefly via his home security system and reportedly refused their request to meet them for questioning.
At this time, Banghart’s whereabouts are unknown and it is assumed he is intentionally avoiding law enforcement. The investigation remains active.