Sprinkler bandit nabbed

Posted on July 4, 2012 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The law has rained down on Thomas Barnick, 48, the Sonoma Valley man suspected of stealing 407 sprinkler heads from area vineyards.

Barnick was under surveillance early Monday when, after a gambling stint at the River Rock Casino, he drove into a nearby vineyard at 3 a.m. and began removing the Rain Bird devices, according to the Sheriff’s report. He was arrested at the site.

Since October, there have been 18 reported such cases countywide with a property loss exceeding $50,000. Barnick became a prime suspect in May when his truck was reportedly seen on or near the property near the time of two thefts. He was also identified in a photo line-up, detectives said.

Barnick was jailed on $100,000 bail on suspicion of grand theft, possession of stolen property and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

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