‘Hey, Isn’t That My Lawn Mower?’–Hydesville Man Sees Items From His Home Drive By on the Road

This is a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

 201602783 North_280x420_thumbOn Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at about 5:15 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a residential burglary that occurred on Hill Lane in Hydesville. Deputies arrived on scene and spoke with a male victim. The victim told deputies he was driving on Hill Lane to his residence when he passed a black Toyota Tacoma, extra cab, towing a black utility trailer. In the trailer was a riding lawn mower and a refrigerator. The victim recognized the property as his own. The victim returned home and discovered numerous items missing such as a riding lawnmower, refrigerator, dishwasher, pressure washer, several firearms, numerous tools, clothing, a weed-eater, ammunition, and other items.

During the course of the investigation, the black Toyota Tacoma was located with the stolen refrigerator in the bed of the truck. Deputies contacted 31 year old Benjamin Keath North and 34 year old Tiffany Nicole Deveraux. Per North’s parolee status, deputies searched his residence on Perras Court in Fortuna. Almost all of the stolen property from the burglary was l201602783 Deveraux_280x420_thumbocated inside the residence. Deputies also located drug paraphernalia, a small amount of suspected methamphetamine, and indicia for both North and Deveraux. The riding lawn mower, a revolver, and other items were still outstanding. The recovered property was returned to the victim.

North and Deveraux were arrested and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. They were booked for burglary, possession of stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. North was placed on a parole hold. Deveraux was additionally booked for an outstanding warrant for domestic violence.

Deputies continued investigating this incident on Thursday, June 2nd. The stolen lawn mower was located at a residence on Fischer Rd in Hydesville. The lawn mower was returned to the owner. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.



  • Im always surprised about the amount of crime in Fortuna. Its such a small town. I had the occasion to work with/for the FPD multiple times and I felt they were a well run police force.

    • We have a good police force here, this individual is a life time thief and has been ripping people’s property off for years, he’s the genius that robbed a house in scotia and used the stolen credit card at Safeway, and claimed the reward points on his own Safeway card. Brilliant

  • I find that most of the crime in our neck of the woods has a.drug connection. It has been that way for a long time.

  • Worthless human beings. Fact is, if you steal, your scum of the earth.

  • I totally agree with , its time . I pity the fool or fools that would try stealing from me .

  • Thank you people of Dumboldt for overwhelmingly passing Prop 47.

    • Really? Dumboldts? First please move away, second grab a clue in that prop 47 was voted in by the entire state.

      What does prop 47 have to do with it? Repeat offenders are jailed under that prop if there’s room in the jail.
      We don’t have that room as the state passed an assembly bill that transferred criminals from state prisons to county jails to serve their sentences. Our jail was made for folks to await trial and sentencing and then be transferred, not where they served their sentence.
      Ask sheriff Downey, he can tell you all the issues caused by that assembly bill. There’s literally not room so soon we will probably be taxed to build another jail in the county. After all the US was just found to have the most citizens in jail of any country in the world

  • The POS stole $1600 worth of property from me a few years back. The cops and DA didn’t do squat even with perfectly clear pics of his Jeep Liberty, licence plate number and a picture of him with my property in his hands was given to them within 8 hours of the theft. It wasn’t until he pulled his America’s dumbest criminal stunt at Safeway a couple months later before they put an arrest warrant out for him. I was the one the tracked him down right after that and had his location until EPD could get to him. The druggie was in Les Schwab parking lot passed out after shooting some heroin just a day before Christmas. Ran into him at the pawn shop just a couple months ago while I was looking for something else that was stolen from my truck. Sure was nice to see him out about selling more stolen property to support his drug habit.

  • He stole property from us too a few years ago when we were renting a place from his dad (a Realtor who is/was on the Humboldt County Grand Jury) in a gated community. So much for feeling protected. Ben was the handyman and had keys to everyone’s apartments. He not only stole our items, but also our feeling of security and safety in a place I considered my “home”. I went to the hearing on that charge. The Officer at FPD, in attendance, said I was one of the first people he’s ever seen attend as a victim. We should be more proactive and make the courts see us (victims of crime) as people and not a file number. Mike is right about the stupidity of this person. I wish Ben would just go away.

    • I went round in circles with the DA. They refuse to prosecute him on my case. Just before he was called out for using his own Safeway club card along with the a stolen credit card I had a run in with him in Eureka….this was a couple months after the theft of my property and being extremely let down my our justice system, or more accurately, the LACK of one. After confronting him, he tried to run when I said the police were on their way. We ended up getting into a fight but his tweaker ass managed to get out of my grip and took off. When EPD got thre they threatened to charge me with assault because that POS was now the ‘victim’. I was beyond pissed. It was a month later and right after the Safeway incident when I saw him on Broadway and called 911 and they arrested him at Les Schwab. During that time is when I found out about his connection to Loleta Reality and him being their in house ‘thief’ with master key to all his dads properties. After they let him out of jail a month or so later is when I read about him getting caught stealing from the tenants….you probably being one of them. I wouldn’t be caught dead renting anything managed by his father. As soon as he’s out, he will be right back to ripping people off. His brother is another common one involved in this crap. Bad news for sure.

      • Wow, mike and discouraged, that is just crazy and shows how horrible our judicial system is. I really hope these two catch the karma that they’ve built up. I just still can’t understand how he’s on the streets still. I feel like thefts needs to have a harsher penalties, along with a lot of other crimes though. Makes us feel helpless, so we try to take it into our own hands and end up getting in trouble. Makes no sense!

      • Would you PLEASE call the DA’s office and remind them of your story and request that North be fully prosecuted this time? He will continue to do this over and over if people don’t stick together and demand justice. This is ridiculous that he’s let out over and over and over. He’s in clear violation of his parole now with all of these new charges, which would be enough to lock him up for a long time if only the DAs office would prosecute!! Please reference this latest case, #201602783. Everyone – please step up and help put this guy away! DA’s office: 445-7411 districtattorney@co.humboldt.ca.us

    • I totally agree! Can you please help get North prosecuted by calling the DA’s office? They need to know this latest wasn’t a single incident but the latest in a very LONG string of crime. Please reference this latest case, #201602783. The more victims to complain the better!! DA’s office: 445-7411 districtattorney@co.humboldt.ca.us

  • A man’s riding mower,,,,,is like,,,,a,a,,uh…. a sacred vehicle!………………………man.

    • A bit ironic but when I caught up to him in Eureka a couple years back he had a riding lawn mower in a little black utility trailer as well. I called him out on it and said I’d be willing to bet it was stolen. He denied it but once I told him that I was sure the police will straighten it out one they got there. That’s when he tried to bail.

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