Man accused of stealing from home where TV news interviewed him

John Coppini.

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A man accused of stealing a truck and $30,000 worth of tools from victims of a recent wildfire was caught after the victims saw him give a televised interview in front of their home.

The victims, Michael and Crystal Armstrong, live in the 8600 block of Swarthout Canyon Road, which was affected by the Blue Cut Fire. They were asked to evacuate on Aug. 17 because of the fire, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. They evacuated to another area and watched coverage of the fire on TV.

That’s when the Armstrongs noticed something odd.

The couple was watching Channel 9, a Los Angeles news station, when they saw a reporter interview a man in front of their burned-out home. The man, later identified as John Coppini, claimed on-air to be the caretaker of the Armstrong’s property. When the Armstrongs returned to their home, their truck and several tools were missing.

The tools are valued at $30,000, the sheriff’s department said.

Coppini is accused of grand theft during a state emergency and vandalism involving more than $400, according to jail records. The records also show that Coppini has been released on bail.

Explore more:  Johnson's 16 lead Portland State past Cal Baptist 66-63

The Armstrongs’ truck has been recovered but the tools are still missing. Officials said the missing tools include a trig welder, hydraulic punch, cable saw, hydraulic hose crimper, roto hammer, band saw, right angle drill and thousands of metric and sae sockets and wrenches.

Follow Gabby Ferreira on Twitter: @Its_GabbyF.

Related Posts

Terms & Conditions

Maybe you are interested stanford football schedule Red Sox beat Braves in matchup of division leaders Montana sweeps all-star basketball series against Wyoming texas high school football…

Return & Refund Policy

Maybe you are interested Mike Pence to announce presidential campaign with June 7 rally in Des Moines Arch Manning, nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, already impressing…

Cookies Policy

Maybe you are interested 49ers do-everything RB Christian McCaffrey scores touchdown in 15th consecutive game Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic bid at a glance Austria coach Koller makes…


Maybe you are interested soccer cleets Nordqvist embracing double duty at Solheim Cup. Swede is playing and acting as vice captain George Kittle shared five-word opinion on…

Privacy Policy

Maybe you are interested Opinion: AFC Championship showed us (again) NFL overtime rules are terrible Colin Kaepernick slid before goal line instead of scoring touchdown Twins’ Josh…


Maybe you are interested Virus rains on parades, Utah women walk out, teachers strike: News from around our 50 states ‘Protests shouldn’t end in people being blinded’:…