A Del Norte County man was arrested in Willits on Christmas Day, charged with receiving stolen property, forgery, mail theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ethan Tyler Bauer, 28, of Crescent City, was arrested by Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies after it was reported he had stolen a gas can from a residence in Willits and was driving a white Chevy truck. Deputies located the vehicle, which allegedly had no license plates, and performed a traffic stop.

“The deputy contacted the driver and sole occupant, who identified himself as Bauer,” said an MSCO report. “While Bauer was attempting to locate paperwork in the truck, the deputy and a Willits Police Department officer noticed an empty gun holster in the glove box. In the bed of the truck, the deputy located a green gas can, which was identified as the reporting party’s property.”

According to the report, the deputy took over the search for the vehicle’s registration and a handgun, as indicated by the holster.

“During this activity, in plain view on the passenger side seat and door panel, the deputy saw mail for numerous locations in Mendocino County. These included locations in Brooktrails, Willits, and Redwood Valley,” the report states. “A further search of the truck was conducted resulting in deputies locating checkbooks, checks, and other mail from as far away as Oregon.”

Upon searching the truck, deputies reportedly found a rifle.

They also found Bauer had an extensive criminal history and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

He was taken to Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $35,000.

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