Be On the Lookout: Stolen Truck Found and Man on Probation for Auto Theft Arrested

One of our LoCO BOLO stolen vehicles was found yesterday. The truck–a hunter green, 1997 Ford F250 king cab–was originally taken from McKinleyville and reported on our blog here. (See photo below.)

Around 6 p.m. last night, the Fortuna Police Department (FoPD) received a call from the Rohnerville Patriot gas station. A clerk reported that a man was behaving suspiciously.

According to Janell Hamilton, manager of the business, a man “came in acting weird.”  The man asked the clerk to “front him gas.”  When he was refused, he went outside and the clerk continued to watch him.  Hamilton said, the clerk observed the man “trying to get in through the back window” of a truck. The clerk asked the man if he owned the vehicle and was told he did.

However, the clerk was still concerned and called law enforcement. The suspect left before officers showed up.  According to a FoPD lieutenant, “Our officers looked at the vehicle. It looked like the ignition had been punched.” (This is frequently done to allow a vehicle to be started without a key.)

According to the FoPD, there was no front plate on the truck. The officers realized the information gained by running the back plate’s information did not exactly match the vehicle’s description and the officers ran its VIN number. With the information gathered from the VIN search, their suspicions about the vehicle were confirmed. It had been stolen.

They contacted the owner to come down and get it. The owner drove down and removed the truck. Unfortunately, there had been damage done. The owner told LoCO that the truck had been “stripped, dented, [and] side crashed.” 

According to the FoPD, after the vehicle was removed by the owner, at about 9:20 p.m., the suspect and another man came back to the station looking for the truck. Law enforcement was again called and again the suspect left before law enforcement arrived. The officers, however, located the pair. The man matching the description of the suspect, Joshua Ellis Moon, (see right for mugshot from earlier arrest) was on probation for auto theft. (See earlier LoCO story about Moon here.)

Moon, the FPD said, had a 9 inch fixed blade kitchen knife in his pocket which could have been used as a weapon or possibly used to start the vehicle once the the ignition had been punched.

The other man was a transient who claimed to have no knowledge of the vehicle’s stolen status and wasn’t charged with the incident. 

According to the FoPD, Moon said that his family had purchased the vehicle and that Hoopa Tribal Police (HTPD) had checked out the vehicle’s plate in the course of a investigating another crime. Moon said that the HTPD said the truck was fine.

After investigation, the FPD said that the HTPD had thought the vehicle might have been used in a residential burglary in McKinleyville. In fact, it was believed to be caught on surveillance video during the burglary. However, the plate on the truck came back clean and, at the time, the vehicle was left with the person who was in possession of it.

FoPD said that they plan to follow up by viewing the surveillance tape at the Patriot station and continuing other avenues of investigation.

Previous Joshua Moon LoCO News Stories:


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If an item belonging to you was stolen and you would like the LoCO community to help you to find it, please send photos, the police report number, the agency to which you reported the item missing, and any appropriate additional information to


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