A Napa County Sheriff's deputy became curious Tuesday night when he spotted a car parked in a bus turnout near Trancas Street at California Boulevard shortly before 9 p.m.
When he approached the driver, the man volunteered that the welding equipment in the back seat had been recently purchased, said Henry Wofford, a Sheriff's Office spokesperson.
That turned out not to be the case, Wofford said.
The deputy checked with police dispatch to find out if any welders had been reported stolen recently. One had been earlier that day from a Napa machine shop, Wofford said.
The machine shop owner came down and identified the welder as his, Wofford said.
The driver of the car, Ronan Alexander High, 22, of Napa was arrested for possible felony charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and probation violations. The Sheriff's Office also tacked on allegations of looting and a violation of the state's fire emergency declaration, Wofford said.
The machine shop owner said High was a former employee who had used the welder as part of his job, Wofford said.
The equipment was given back to the shop owner, he said.
The passenger, Gerald Michael Freeman, 44, of Napa was booked into the Napa County jail for possible charges of possessing a controlled substance --two grams of suspected meth -- and probation violations.
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