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Idaho Man Gets 9 Months Hard Time For Rock Theft

Alan Jones
File photo of sandtone rocks commonly used in home landscaping.

A man who supplied decorative stone to Boise-area lawns was sentenced to nine months in prison on Monday for rock theft.

The sandstone he sold to landscapers came from federal land. 

Forty-six-year-old Brian Kirkpatrick of Nampa, Idaho, was caught last year during a traffic stop in Owyhee County. He failed to halt at a stop sign because his truck was so loaded down with stolen rocks.

According to the plea deal, Kirkpatrick took nearly 10,000 pounds of sandstone from BLM land in southwest Idaho.

Federal attorney Marc Haws says it may seem like a strange case to go after -- the stolen goods were only worth $1,500 -- but the office takes theft from public lands very seriously.

“Public lands are a treasure for all the public. And they're to be respected," he says. "And we can't have just wanton depredation, taking things off public land.”

Kirkpatrick was not new to the rock racket. He received three years probation in 2009 for misdemeanor rock theft, and had been fined several times before that for taking rocks without a permit.