Police Surveillance Catches Hanford Hardware Thief

Police on Friday caught a man who they say was stealing equipment from a Hanford hardware store.

For three months, police say 21-year-old Simon Rylaarsdam used bolt cutters and a torch to break into the front of a Lowe's store.

The Hanford Police Department earlier this month conducted surveillance of Lowe's at the request of its management staff. During the surveillance on Tuesday, officers saw a white Ford F150 pickup enter the parking lot with its headlights off. Officers then pulled the driver of the pickup truck over near{} the westbound Highway 198 onramp at 12th Ave.

Officers found several pairs of bolt cutters, torches and nearly two grams of methamphetamine inside of the pickup truck.

Rylaarsdam was arrested and taken to the Hanford Police Department for questioning. Rylaarsdam admitted to stealing two lawn mowers, two roto-tillers, a BBQ and a trailer from the store.

Police say Rylaarsdam, who was out on bail at the time of his arrest, admitted to selling the two roto-tillers and one lawnmower to a local business. The owner of the business returned the items, police said.{}

Police have also connected Rylaarsdam to the theft of eight laptop computers from a Hanford Wal-Mart. The estimated value is around $4,265, police said.{}