Solar panels found

Chico police locate part of stolen array

Chico police have located several solar panels recently stolen from Little Chico Creek Elementary School.

Last week—about a month after the theft was detected—police released images from school security cameras, including a photo showing a light-colored, late-model Ford long-bed pick-up truck with a lumber rack (pictured).

Police recovered 17 of the 46 stolen panels in a rented locker at a storage facility in west Chico. The discovery resulted from a tip based on the photos, reported the Chico Enterprise-Record.

The crime appears tied to additional burglaries, including one involving Caring Veterans Inc., a nonprofit group who reported a theft of nearly $200,000 in property. Police recovered the organization’s valuables at the same storage facility.

Police arrested Christopher Bess in connection with that case but expect to locate another suspect. They are also on the lookout for the rest of the stolen panels. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chico Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 897-5820.