Actor Tom Selleck Caught Stealing Water During California's Drought

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on July 09, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

California water officials have filed a suit against Tom Selleck, claiming the "Quigley Down Under" star has been pilfering water from a neighborhood hydrant and trucking it to his out-of-town ranch.

The lawsuit, filed by the Calleguas Municfipal Water District, claims that, in the midst of a historic drought, the actor best known for roles as upstanding lawmen, cowboys, and a certain private investigator, has been skirting the state's water laws.

Blatantly Stealing From the Public Water Supply

The actor, best known for his starring role in 1972's "Daughters of Satan," owns a 60-acre ranch located in the Hidden Valley Municipal Water District. Hidden Valley, however, does not provide a public water supply, forcing residents to rely on well water, which can dry up in severe droughts.

According to Calleguas' $22,000 investigation, Selleck, who memorably played Captain Theodore 'Ted' Brinkenhoff in "The Gypsy Warriors," has been stealing from the same Thousand Oaks water hydrant since 2013. The lawsuit alleges a large, white water truck would fill up from the hydrant and deliver the water to Selleck's ranch. Despite several cease and desist notices, the truck was seen guzzling scarce drinking water as recently as March.

An Innocent Man Growing Avocados?

So far, Selleck, whose "High Road to China" garnered a Saturn Award nomination for Best Fantasy Film, has not responded to the lawsuit or requests for comment. Calleguas is seeking reimbursement for the $21,685.55 cost of investigation, and an injunction against further water thievery. While Ventura County Sherriff's haven't pressed criminal charges against the man famous worldwide for his non-mustachioed role in 1992's "Folks!" alongside Don Ameche, many water districts prohibit transferring potable water across district boundaries.

The man who made his name as Rock Maninoff in "Open Season" grows avocados on his ranch, and told Good Housekeeping: "So I like to get outside and work on the farm, from fixing roads to clearing brush. I hate going to the gym, so sweating outdoors sure beats sitting on a stationary bike staring at my navel. And I work cheaper than anyone I could hire to do it."

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