Fresno man arrested in connection to 4-H Club goat theft


A Fresno man was arrested in connection to several goats that were stolen from the Kingsburg 4-H Club, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Ag Task Force arrested Manuel Hernandez, 75.

He has been booked into the Fresno County Jail for possession of stolen property, as well as outstanding warrants for driving on a suspended license.

The Sheriff’s Office said they didn’t have evidence that Hernandez actually stole the goats.

Detectives received a tip through Valley Crime Stoppers stating some recently stolen goats were being kept at a ranch located at 1279 W. North Ave. in Fresno. When detectives arrived at the property, they found 18 goats in pens.They identified five of them as belonging to members of the 4-H Club – which had a March 11 theft report on file with the Sheriff’s Office. 

The 4-H Club has now recovered all nine of its stolen goats – four were found roaming
along a road days after being taken. 

Two of the other goats on the property were determined to belong to another person who had filed a theft report with the Sheriff’s Office. 

All seven goats were returned to their respective owners. 

It’s undetermined if the remaining 11 goats were stolen, the Sheriff’s Office said.

As a safety precaution, detectives transported the 11 goats to a boarding facility to allow extra time to try and track down their potential owners, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Residents who believe any of these goats may be there’s should contact the Ag Task Force at 559-600-8150.

The Sheriff’s Office said from Jan. 9 to March 11 there have been nine different reports of goats being stolen – a total of 70 goats worth $28,000 – from different private properties in the area
between Easton and Riverdale. 

Ag Task Force detectives are also working with investigators in Kings and Tulare counties to try and generate leads in those cases. 

As of March 26, seven cases remain open with 59 goats still missing.

Anyone with information on cases of goat theft is ask to contact the Ag Task Force or Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867.

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