Suspect in fuel wagon thefts identified
A Yuba City man who pleaded not guilty this week to a stolen property charge may also be connected to a series of recent fuel wagon thefts in Colusa County, investigators said on Tuesday.
Ricky Singh Lasher was arrested on Thursday with a stolen fuel wagon and booked into the Sutter County Jail, authorities said.
Lasher, 28, is a suspect in at least four fuel wagon thefts over the past three months in Colusa County, according to Sgt. Mike Bradwell of the Colusa County Sheriff's Department.
The investigation picked up steam last month when deputies obtained a photograph of Lasher towing a stolen fuel pump through a gas station in Yolo County, Bradwell said.
"Additional charges will be filed through the Colusa County District Attorney's Office," Bradwell said on Tuesday.
Colusa prosecutors filed felony theft charges against Lasher last month, according to Colusa County Superior Court records.
Bradwell said investigators are looking into the possibility that Lasher was not working alone.
Lasher pleaded not guilty on Monday in Sutter County Superior Court to the stolen property count and an unrelated drug charge from June. Retired Judge H. Ted Hansen ordered Lasher to return to court Aug. 21, according to court records.
Capt. Lewis McElfresh of the Sutter County Sheriff's Department said Lasher has not been linked to any other recent thefts in Sutter County.
"But we're examining that possibility, so the case is still under investigation," McElfresh said.
Bradwell said Lasher was the focus of an investigation into farm equipment thefts in recent months.
Sutter County sheriff's deputies stopped Lasher in a vehicle around 6 a.m. Thursday in the 8500 block of Pass Road in Sutter. He was arrested a short time later on suspicion of possession of the stolen fuel wagon, officials said.
Lasher pleaded no contest in 2004 in Sutter County to burglary and was ordered to serve three years on probation, court records show.
He was last arrested in July in Yuba City on suspicion of methamphetamine possession. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court, according to records.
Lasher was still in custody Tuesday afternoon on $15,000 bail.
Colusa County Sun-Herald reporter Monica Vaughan contributed to this report.
CONTACT Rob Parsons at 749-4785. Find him on Facebook at /ADcrimebeat or on Twitter at @ADcrimebeat.