Visalia couple planted bikes to lure thieves, attack them with bat on camera, police say

Vanessa Vasconcelos Image
Friday, January 10, 2020
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Investigators say there are at least four victims who were beaten with aluminum bats, but there could be more.

FRESNO, Calif. -- A Visalia couple is accused of planting bikes in front of their home to lure thieves - and then beating them with aluminum bats, police say.

The couple allegedly bragged about their escapades to neighbors and posted videos to YouTube, officials say.

"They would run out, chase down that subject, assault that subject and recover their bike, but they would never call us," said Visalia police Lt. Ron Epp said.

Investigators say Corey Curnutt, 25, and Savannah Grillot, 29, had been victims of car break-ins themselves. That's when they decided to take the law into their own hands.

They left unattended bikes in front of their home.

In one video, a man takes a bike from in front of the home - and then another man, believed to be Curnutt, emerges from the home shirtless, carrying a bat and chasing after the thief.

"They're running down the street, yelling, getting into a fight in the middle of the night, which would obviously wake the neighbors up," Epp said.

Epp says the department was first alerted to the bait bike videos in July, and the attacks allegedly continued through November.

Clips posted to Curnutt's public YouTube account are what helped them make an arrest. Those videos have since been taken down.

Investigators say there are at least four victims who were beaten with aluminum bats, but there could be more.

"They're reluctant victims, so they're not wanting to come out and say, 'yeah, I was stealing a bike and got assaulted,'" Epp said.

Epp says when it comes to enforcing the law, leave it to the professionals.

Both suspects were booked at the Tulare County jail and face four counts of assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy charges. They later bailed out.

Neighbor Kerris LeBeau says Curnutt and Grillot were married and moved in across the street from her home in May or June of 2019.

During their very first night at the house, she says, someone broke into their car, which her cameras captured.

And they were victims of another car break-in days later.

"And then after that he was like, 'Well screw this we're going to take the neighborhood, we're not going to let (them) take us'," LeBeau says.

A spokesperson at Naval Air Station Lemoore confirmed a sailor and a dependent were arrested on base by Visalia Police on Wednesday.

LeBeau says the woman suspect was a Lemoore sailor.

She says Curnutt and Grillot were really nice people.

But she and her husband had a front-row seat to the never-ending entrapment happening next door, and finally felt it had gone too far.

"There would be blood in the street or on the sidewalks the next day," she says.

So they said something to the couple.

"We had mentioned, 'Maybe it's not the best idea, you're kind of bringing them into the neighborhood that might not be here otherwise'. And it was a lot, it was every night, and just a lot of activity," LeBeau says.

Visalia Police say there are at least four victims who were beaten with bats.

LeBeau thinks that number has to be much higher.

The couple, she says, moved out about a month ago.

And adds that she hasn't heard of any more neighborhood thefts since they left.