Burglars who tipped authorities to child porn stash likely to get leniency
There is honor among thieves.
Two teenage burglars risked arrest by tipping off Merced County authorities that CDs they'd stolen from a barn contained child pornography.
Their decision to come forward resulted in the arrest earlier this week of Kraig Stockard, 54, of Delhi, Calif., on suspicion of possession of pornography of children under 14, Merced County sheriff's spokesman Tom MacKenzie said.
The Merced County district attorney is reviewing the case for possible burglary as well as pornography charges, "but I'm pretty sure the D.A. will show leniency," MacKenzie said. "If they didn't tell us what they did, we wouldn't have found out something more heinous.
"It just goes to show, there's a line even the bad guys won't cross," MacKenzie said.
Stockard had reported the theft of propane tanks, tools and sodas, but not the missing CDs, to authorities, MacKenzie said. The young men, ages 17 and 19, took the 50 CDs to be blanks, and asked a family member -- possible an older sister -- to load them with music, he said.
She discovered the pornography and persuaded the young men to go to their parents, who insisted they turn the discs over to deputies, MacKenzie said. The teenagers made no effort to hide what they'd done, Mackenzie said.
"They were pretty straightforward about it," he said.
Deputies had Stockard come in, ostensibly to recover the stolen property, and confronted him with the CDs. He confessed eventually that they were his, MacKenzie said.
Investigators got a search warrant and seized three desktop computers and an external hard drive that Stockard led them to believe could contain more pornographic material.
Stockard was jailed briefly and released on bail. The two young burglars were not arrested and therefore are not being identified, MacKenzie said.
-- Gale Holland