Location: 20000 block of Road 140, Tulare

Incident Date: 10/20/17

Incident Time: 0800 hours

Case Number: 17-12849

Victim: Tulare County Deputy Sheriff's Association/Rankin Field

City: Tulare

Posted by: Media Relations

On 10-19-17, Ag Crimes Detectives were contacted by staff of Rankin Field and advised they had located video surveillance of a subject removing tools from one of the classrooms as well as from the storage shed at the facility. Detectives were notified that the discovery was made after closing on this date. 


Detectives responded to Rankin Field the following day, on 10/20/17, and began their investigation.

Essentially, Detectives learned that a known suspect, identified as Allen Atchinson, was working at Rankin Field as a sentence ordered by the Tulare County Superior Court in regards to previous criminal charges. At the time, Atchinson was assigned to the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program (SWAP). This program gives inmates the opportunity to complete valuable community service while serving their time and community out of custody. This program is designed to save the county taxpayers money as these inmates are not fed or housed by the County and report daily for the duration of their sentence.


As Detectives conducted their investigation, they observed video footage of Atchinson entering the classroom and staging several tools in one location. This footage was captured on October 8th of this year. Later, on this same date, Atchinson was observed re-entering the room, placing these tools in his jacket and leaving the classroom. Detectives learned Atchinson was confronted by Rankin Field Staff on October 19th and asked if he was aware of the location of the tools.

According to staff, Atchinson denied any knowledge of their location. 

Detectives then began looking over video footage on today’s date and observed Atchinson attempting to replace the tools upon his arrival to work this morning (Oct. 20). Detectives were able to observe the tools replaced by Atchinson and found them to have the Rankin Field name written in black permanent marker. Detectives further learned Atchinson was in possession of the tools for more than 12 days and they had been stored at his residence. 

The value of the tools was estimated to be $500.

All video footage was collected as evidence and Atchinson was remanded back into custody. He was transported to the Adult Pre-Trail Facility where he was booked on fresh charges of burglary and possession of stolen property.      


Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective R. Gunderman or Sgt. Chad Rhyman with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Ag Crimes Investigations Unit at (559) 735-1898. They can also call 24 hours a day at (559) 733-6218 or anonymously, by accessing the TipNow page at tcso@tipnow.com or (559) 725-4194.