VACAVILLE (CBS SF) – It was instant karma for Vacaville firefighter Louis Jones when he responded Thursday morning to a medical call at a mobile home on Sunset Drive in Vacaville.
A home on Bishop Drive that Jones had been preparing to rent out was burglarized overnight last week. He discovered the theft on Friday.
A 4-wheel dirt bike, washer and dryer, tools, lawn mower, wood chipper, power tools, hand tools and personal items were stolen.
When he arrived at the mobile home this morning in response to a medical call, he noticed another missing item that looked familiar—a plastic, bright yellow wedge used to stabilize cars during extrications was being used as a doorstop on the gate to the mobile home.
“I recognized it right away. I became suspicious right away,” Jones said.
His suspicions were confirmed when inside the mobile home was the missing Whirlpool washer and dryer he intended to leave to the new tenants of his rental home.
Construction work was underway on the mobile home’s deck, Jones said.
Being a firefighter and medical responder, he kept his cool, he said. The man in the mobile home was transported to VacaValley Hospital.
“We took care of our business and left,” Jones said.
As Jones and the other responders were leaving, they encountered 47-year-old Ricky Mankini, who also lived at the mobile home park, according to Vacaville police Officer Debi Lopez.
“We didn’t confront him. I called the police,” Jones said.
Vacaville police contacted Mankini at VacaValley Hospital where he was visiting his housemate, Jones said. A search of Mankini’s vehicle revealed more stolen items and Mankini was arrested for possession of stolen property and booked into the Solano County jail, Lopez said.
Jones returned to the mobile home where he identified the property that was missing from his rental home.
“The only thing we recovered was the washer and dryer, a lawn mower, some paint, hinges, paint brushes and keepsakes—beer steins with firefighting related artwork,” Jones said.
The recovered property is worth about $2,300, Lopez said.
“Ninety percent of the stuff is still missing,” Jones said. He estimates it’s worth between $8,000 and $10,000.
Jones, a firefighter for 20 years, 10 of them with the Vacaville department, offered his perspective about his stolen property.
“It’s just stuff. It’s not like it’s a life-or-death situation,” he said.
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