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Farm Bureau helps detectives locate theft victims
Irvin Turpitt, 53, was arrested outside of Ceres on Tuesday on theft and drug charges.

A theft suspect picked up near Ceres has been linked to a number of rural thefts, thanks to the assistance of the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau.

Deputies arrested Irvin Turpitt, 53, of Modesto, in the 3800 block of Service Road southwest of Ceres on Tuesday after reports of a suspicious person and vehicle were phoned into 911. Deputies Veronica Esquivez and Kyle Briggs apprehended Turpitt after he tried to flee.

Turpitt has an extensive criminal background. He was found in possession of a reported stolen vehicle, illegal narcotics and stolen property and had several outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Deputies searched the stolen truck and found horse tack including saddle pads, bridles, cinches, breast collars and billets.

Detectives Cody Williams and Billy Redding, who was members of the Sheriff's Rural Crimes Task Force, worked the case and remember recent saddle and tack thefts occurring in the Oakdale area. Detectives sent photos of the stolen items to Tom Orvis, the governmental affairs director of the county Farm Bureau, who posted them on the Farm Bureau's Facebook page with an alert. Within two hours, detectives received a call from the victims who positively identified all of the stolen property which was used by their children at local junior rodeos.
The Farm Bureau, in partnership with the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office uses social media and email to produce Rural Crime Alerts in which public safety information is shared with the entire Agricultural Community in an effort to promote neighborhood watch and crime prevention.

"This is another example of the tremendous benefit of partnerships and working together," said Sheriff Adam Christianson. "Tom's work is invaluable when it comes to protecting the agricultural community and we appreciate our partnership with the Stanislaus County Farm Bureau."

Turpitt was arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on a variety of felony charges including possession of stolen property, auto theft, possession of dangerous narcotics and outstanding warrants.

The Sheriff's Office is actively engaged in a variety of community partnerships which benefit the people of Stanislaus County and community safety, said Christianson.