Community Alert Information: This is a community alert to notify local residents to be on the lookout for suspicious persons and/or activities related to numerous recent thefts of copper (house plumbing) pipe and firearms. The thefts have been concentrated in the area of seasonal and somewhat isolated cabins and homes along SR-49 between the Town of Sattely near vista point and just south of Bassetts Station at Salmon Creek Road. There have been some 15 known cases since June 8th 2013. In each case unknown suspect(s) have forced entry into an unoccupied cabin, usually seasonal/summer home tract, and then entered the basement to cut and/or break loose copper metal plumbing pipes. In several cases unsecured firearms have also been stolen. The thief(s) often leave other valuables behind focusing on copper metal and guns. The thief(s) have used force to bend, twist and break the soft copper water pipes so they may not have tools. The sheriff’s office has obtained many items for latent finger print analysis as well as other physical and photographic potential evidence. The numerous cases have been combined into one investigation assigned to our one sheriff’s detective. The sheriff’s office has increased patrols in the area and the California Highway Patrol has also been requested to increase area patrols. Sadly, these thefts can cause thousands of dollars in damage for only tens to hundreds of dollars in criminal gain. This kind of metal theft is a growing trend throughout the state and in Nevada. Metal Theft Task Forces have been established to go after these metal thefts which have become prolific. 2
Possible Suspect Description: Note; the following is a very general proposed suspect description, obviously subject to changes. White male(s) age 20 to 50 years, unemployed or working odd jobs. Skills of a laborer with experience in mechanics, plumbing, fix-it-yourself repairs, metal salvaging and recycling; probably done in the Reno, NV area. California requires identification to sell scrap metals to a recycling center, Nevada currently does not. Late night habits, often secluded to only close friends with similar life style. Probable strong methamphetamine habit, possibly other illegal drugs and alcohol too. The suspect(s) is/are familiar with the SR-49 corridor over the Yuba Pass and may frequent the areas of the western Sierra Valley and Bassetts Station/Green Acres areas. Probably lives and or works, or knows someone who does, in those areas making them frequent the corridor and familiar with the area homes and cabins. The thefts are probably done to support a methamphetamine habit/lifestyle by someone who knows the area and lives/works near-by.
What Should I Do?: Please do not leave firearms and other valuables unsecure in your cabins, such as loose in a closet or under a bed. Secure them at a location you are frequently at, at a minimum inside a bolted down gun safe. Pay attention to your neighborhood and be very familiar with your neighbors. Pay attention to strangers and make notes of their appearance, vehicle description and license plate. Call Emergency 9-1-1 if you believe criminal behavior is in progress and stay on the line until a deputy sheriff or other peace officer arrives. Consider a home security system alarm and camera system, many people buy relatively in-expensive “game cameras” and use them for home security cameras that blend into their wooded environment. Consider leaving an interior and some exterior lights on when not home. Keep brush and debris down around your home so a suspect can been seen by others on your property. Talk with your neighbors and exchange contact information. Familiarize each other’s visiting routines as reasonable. Get to know each others’ cars. Work together to call-in suspicious persons, vehicles and activities. Know what is unusual and may be suspicious and call it in. If you have any possible suspect information please call for Sheriff’s Detective Mike Fisher. His direct confidential line is: (530) 289-2882. You may also call the confidential toll free number received only by Sheriff John Evans at (888) 2-SHERIFF or 274-3743.