Porterville police arrest man accused of stealing piece of equipment from welding supply store

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Troy Worthen faces multiple charges, including grand theft, after allegedly walking off with an expensive piece of equipment from Barnes Welding Supply in Porterville.

"The employees at Barnes Welding were later apprised, it was a fraud a scam going on and they supplied the description and vehicle information and they later determined it was the same subject who purchased this plasma cutter. Our office was then contacted and we initiated an investigation," said Rick Carrillo, Administrative Sergeant Porterville Police.

The suspect was able to obtain a plasma cutter by posing as an employee of a construction company. Worthen signed for it and billed the equipment to the unknowing business.

"We were able to determine he made the same attempts in Bakersfield and Visalia at welding supply stores as well," said Carrillo.

Authorities said he then turned around and sold the stolen property to a Bakersfield man online

"After the purchase was made, and before we were involved in the investigation, he already sold the item on a website known as Offer Up to a Bakersfield resident. And last I heard the property was being returned to its rightful owner, being Barnes Welding," said Carrillo.

Police said Worthen got greedy and tried pulling the same scam again days later for a bigger more expensive piece of equipment at the very same Barnes Welding, but this time Porterville police were ready for him and his accomplish Tiffany Johnson.

"He's looking at grand theft, conspiracy, both of them are-- him and the female-- because they worked together in concert to commit the act," said Carrillo.

Police said the suspect could be working with a larger ring of crooks. So if you hear about a scam like this happening in your business contact authorities immediately.
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