Suspect stole ag equipment then sold it on social media for a profit, Madera Co. sheriff says

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Investigators say the suspect was targeting farmers.

After several months and with many other agencies, Madera County sheriff's detectives arrested Eduardo Manzo for allegedly stealing agricultural equipment, and turning to social media to make a profit.

"Fairly after it was stolen it appeared on Facebook," said Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney.

The first one happened back in May when deputies received several reports related to equipment thefts in near Chowchilla.

Varney says they had another case in July near Dairyland School.

He says in every case, the equipment stolen ended up on Facebook.

"He was doing it in a rapid procession so he might have stolen it at 4:30 this afternoon, and be on facebook for the particular crime we're looking at," Varney said.

After conducting a search warrant of his home, deputies were able to link Manzo to the crime.

Varney says he stole various trucks and trailers, including one that's still missing. Officials say Manzo was familiar with how to move the equipment.

"He'd hold down a job for a little while, and either flake out or get let go. he knows his way around an ag field," Varney said.

It's a constant problem for farmers.

Varney says they've seen a steady number of equipment theft cases, while also seeing an uptick in agriculture fuel theft.

Farmers like Madera County Farm Bureau president Nick Davis, says it's a huge burden on both crops and profit.

"We know what to do in the morning with that piece of equipment and when it's missing, we cant get our job done," Davis said.

Davis says there's not much that can be done besides storing equipment if possible and marking it with smart water.

"That can be identified by law enforcement when in possession of a thief," he said.

Manzo is booked on a series of felony charges, including burglary and taking a vehicle without an owner's consent.
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