Friday, August 12, 2022
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Serial Thief Targeting Fort Bragg Lumberyard


Over the past couple of months, employees at Fort Bragg’s Fred C. Holmes Lumber Company noticed lumber missing and suspected a thief was the culprit. John Gould, whose step-father owns the lumber company, saw the problem persist and decided to set up a game camera to document the suspected thief. 

On the early morning of Thanksgiving 2020, Gould’s game camera captured the thief prowling around the property, and at one point, noticing the game camera, and stealing it outright.

Upon analyzing the footage garnered by the game camera, Gould suspects the thief to be a male who is approximately 6’ 2’’. Gould noticed that one of the pictures captures the thief spotting the camera, after which he stole it, and left quickly because he was “spooked.” Gould said the time stamp on the game camera indicates the thief arrived at approximately midnight.

Gould says the thief has targeted consistent material since he began stealing from the lumber yard: “sizes including 1×6, 1×12, 2×4, and 4×4, all in 8′ lengths.” Gould thinks that this choice in the material indicates the thief might be stealing the wood to build a fence. 

Brazenly, the thief “even brought a small saw of some sort to take longer lengths of material to cut in half to his needs/wants,” Gould said. At this point, Gould estimates “losses at over $2,000 and a $500 camera.”

Fort Bragg Police Department’s Sergeant Thomas O’Neal said his agency is actively investigating the thefts. Officers are analyzing physical evidence and have identified two suspects who might be involved. 

On Thursday, December 3, 2020, the Fort Bragg Police Department posted a video on their Facebook account which they suspect might “be related to the recent lumber thefts.” The video depicts a large model pick-up driving around the lumber yard’s perimeter in the dead of night.

Gould said he has been working hard to catch the thief targeting his business: “COVID may have our lives on hold right now, but catching this guy has become my new focus/hobby.”

Sergeant Thomas O’Neal asks if anyone knows the perpetrators of these crimes to reach out to the FBPD at 707-961-2800 or email him directly at



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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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