Tom Selleck
Actor Tom Selleck was accused 8 July of stealing water to irrigate his avocado ranch in California. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Actor Tom Selleck was accused on 8 July of stealing truckloads of water from a public hydrant to take to his avocado ranch in California. The state has been experiencing one of its worst draughts.

The Callegaus Municipal Water District claims the actor, of Magnum PI and Blue Bloods fame, used a white water-tender truck to steal water and have it delivered to his Hidden Valley ranch. According to the Los Angeles Times, the water district lodged a complaint against the actor and his wife, Jillie Selleck, on 6 July in Ventura County Superior Court.

The court documents claim that on over a dozen occasions since 2013, a white truck filled up at a Thousand Oaks hydrant and delivered the water to the 60-acre ranch in Westlake Village, the LA Times reported. The water district spent nearly $22,000 (£14,300) to hire a private investigator to document the alleged theft, the complaint states.

Ventura County Sheriff's Department also investigated the matter and was unable to establish that the crime had occurred, Captain John Reilly told reporters, USA Today reported.

Not their water to take

According to the LA Times, the actor and his wife are not permitted from using water from that particular hydrant because their rank is located in the Hidden Valley Municipal Water District. The ranch, where the Sellecks have lived for almost 30 years, includes an avocado farm.

The complaint is not the first time that the water district attempted to stop the unlawful water deliveries. According to court documents, Callegaus sent the actor a cease-and-desist letter to his home and an Avenue of the Stars address linked to the property in November 2013.

Selleck's water truck allegedly filled up at the same hydrant as recently as March 2015, making four separate deliveries to the ranch. The LA Times reported that the water district is seeking legal fees, investigative costs, as well as a preliminary and permanent injunction barring the actor or employees from stealing any more water.

The new complaint, which does not specify how much water was stolen, comes amid California's biggest draught. The state has asked residents to slash water usage by 25%. According to the LA Times, California also had an issue with water supply during its last significant drought in 1991.