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Suspected Tehama County Diesel Thief Sought

If some farmers in Tehama County feel like their fuel has been going more quickly than it should, they may be victims of a diesel thief. The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office says at least 1,400 gallons of red dye diesel worth $2800 has been stolen from various agriculture sites in the county, particularly Crain Orchards. Surveillance footage led deputies to recognize Travis Eugene Banghart as a person of interest. A search warrant was served at a home rented by Banghart and, although he wasn’t there, he spoke to authorities through his surveillance system and refused their request to come home. A copious amount of diesel was found stored in barrels and all kinds of plastic containers in the garage and elsewhere on the property. A lot had been spilled on the ground as well and hazmat cleanup is ongoing. A livestock trailer was found that had a large plastic container inside and a makeshift electric fuel pump believed to be used to carry out the thefts. The trailer’s VIN number had been ground off and a stolen license plate was mounted on the back. Banghart is currently being sought for questioning.