Action News viewer helps solve kettle corn caper

FRESNO, Calif.

The custom-made kettle corn trailer was reported stolen on Monday from the Villagio shopping center in North Fresno.

Action News followed up on a tip and discovered it around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday a few miles away in Northwest Fresno.

Mark Cooley is breathing a big sigh of relief. 24 hours ago, he thought his custom kettle-corn trailer was gone for good after someone stole it from the Villagio shopping center parking lot in North Fresno. That's when Action News stepped in.

After talking to Cooley and doing some investigating of our own, we aired a picture of the trailer in our newscast Wednesday. Less than an hour later, a viewer called in and told us they spotted it parked on a secluded street in Northwest Fresno. We checked it out and then called Cooley ... and reunited him with the trailer.

"I think someone took it and either chickened out or took it over here where it's secluded and see what's inside of it," said Cooley.

The thief or thieves left the $30 thousand trailer in good condition. They did, however steal the trailer's $34 hundred generator.

Before Wednesday's discovery, Fresno Police were in the process of reviewing surveillance footage which shows a white dually pick-up truck towing the trailer away around 8:30 Tuesday morning.

Cooley said, "You know, you try to grow a business in this economy. It's not easy and to have it hit like this, it certainly makes it worse."

Cooley says this trailer is a crucial part of his business ... Yosemite Concessions. It's used at carnivals and fundraisers all over the San Joaquin Valley. Now that the trailer has been recovered new security measures will likely be put in place.

As for the Action News viewer who discovered it, Cooley says he couldn't be more grateful. "Thank you and I think free kettle corn for life is in order."

I spoke with our tipster just a few minutes ago. He wants to remain anonymous but said ... his message to Cooley ... is simply, you're welcome.

As for this case, investigators are still investigating. They say it's possible, the suspect or suspects are responsible for similar thefts in the area.

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