Man Arrested After Theft in North Fork

At about 11 AM on Thursday, Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Bass Fork Mini Mart in North Fork regarding a suspicious person who had arrived in a black Chevy pickup. While Deputies were responding, Dispatch received calls that two men were fighting in the roadway near Road 221 and Road 223 which is about two miles away from the Mini Mart. Before the Deputies arrived, Dispatch received calls that one of the men involved in the fight had fled on foot, leaving his pickup in the road.

When the Deputy checked the pickup he found that it had been reported stolen. As he was processing the pickup, a man arrived and told the Deputy that he had called the Sheriff’s Office from the Mini Mart about the suspicious person, and the man in the black pickup had stolen the keys out of his vehicle while he was in the Mini Mart. This victim told the Deputy that after his keys were stolen he got a ride from a friend and they drove around looking for the black pickup. He said they found it near Road 221 and Road 223 and he went up to the driver to ask about his keys. He said he saw his keys in the pickup and grabbed them; he said the man started fighting and after exchanging several punches, the man ran away. This victim said he did not want to file any charges because he got his keys back.

At about 1 PM Dispatch received a call of a homeowner holding a person at gunpoint in a crawl space under their house on Road 221. When Deputies arrived they arrested 26 year old Christopher Baker of Ahwahnee. The homeowner told Deputies he had heard about the commotion near Bass Fork Mini Mart and had decided to check his property; while he was doing this he found Baker asleep under his house and called the Sheriff’s Office.

Baker told Deputies that he was high on methamphetamine and decided to steal the keys at Bass Fork. When asked if he knew the pickup he was driving was stolen, he said he did because he had stolen it two days before. He said his friend left him at the Table Mountain Casino and he needed a ride home, so he found a pickup with the keys in it and stole it. Baker also admitted to driving the pickup when he stole gasoline from Millers Landing at Bass Lake on June 2nd, he said he did this because he needed gas for the stolen pickup.

Baker was taken to the Madera County Department of Corrections where he was booked for several offenses including vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, and petty theft.