Photo: recovered parts of the train
Originally published as a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office press release –
“On 10-11-21, a Sheriff’s Deputy responded to a report of vandalism and theft at Santa Margarita Ranch in the 9000 block of Yerba Buena Avenue in Santa Margarita.
It was reported numerous items were stolen including multiple pieces of a steam locomotive train which were made of solid bronze and valued at more than $10,000.
These train parts are extremely rare with only eight sets of them made. One set is in New York, the other seven are in California including the one set that was taken from Santa Margarita Ranch.
In addition, two generators, drones and other equipment were taken with an estimated value of approximately $20,000. Estimated total of the thefts is $30,000.
During the course of the investigation which included members of the Sheriff’s North Station and Rural Crimes Unit, evidence was discovered which led Deputies to a suspect in rural Paso Robles.
On 10-20-21, Deputies with the assistance of Sheriff’s Detectives served a search warrant at a home in the 3000 block of Bridle Trail Lane in rural Paso Robles.
Some items which were thought to be stolen were located at the home, but none related to this case. Additionally, receipts for recycling centers in Santa Maria and Nevada were discovered.
Most of the train parts, approximately 800 pounds of bronze, were discovered at the Santa Maria recycling center. Several other stolen items were discovered at the recycling center in Nevada.
In all, approximately $20,000 in stolen property was recovered and returned to the rightful owners. Deputies arrested 33-year-old Jacob Johnsen for grand theft and receiving stolen property and was booked into County Jail.”