The Turlock Irrigation District kept a chain on an irrigation pump along the Ceres Main Canal south of Keyes Road, but that didn't deter a couple from Livingston who stole the big machine May 28.
Rocky Carl Crawford and Diane Lynn Cox didn't count on being spotted by Undersheriff Bill Heyne, the second in command in the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, but that's what happened, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.
The couple was caught red-handed with the big government pump in the bed of Crawford's pickup. Crawford also had a glass pipe used for smoking drugs and displayed signs of recent drug use, according to a news release.
Cox, 44, settled her case within weeks, pleading no contest to grand theft. She was sentenced to two years in prison. Charges are pending against Crawford, who was referred to drug court.