Alleged improptu burglary leads to four arrests
All they wanted was some art for their apartment walls and now they can’t even keep their stolen spoils for their jail cells.
Four Heavenly Ski Resort employees were arrested early Tuesday morning, suspected of stealing two lithographs each valued at $2,500 from the walls of Caesars Tahoe. When asked why, they reportedly told arresting officers their apartment walls were bare.
Damon Patrick Baddeley, 22, James Moore Allen, 26, James Matthew Morgan, 24, and Kelly Dawn Tucker, 22, all of Stateline, were arrested at 3:10 a.m. Tuesday outside the Goalpost Restaurant and Bar in Stateline.
Baddeley and Allen are charged with grand larceny and Tucker and Morgan are charged with possession of stolen property. All are being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and will appear in the Tahoe Township Justice Court March 1.
The lithographs, which belonged to A Frame of Mind Gallery inside Caesars, were returned to the gallery about three hours after the theft. They were reportedly found in the back of Morgan’s sport utility vehicle at the Goalpost.
All four defendants waived their Miranda rights and agreed to talk to Douglas investigators about the alleged crime.
Allen, named by reports as the mastermind, said he was at the Horizon Casino Resort earlier in the evening when he won $1,000 while playing slots. He told investigators he called up the other three defendants and informed them of his winnings and asked them if they wanted to come to the casino core, according to reports.
The group reportedly had cocktails at the Lakeside Inn and Casino before heading to Neros 2000 inside Caesars.
Allen, a coordinator at Heavenly, told investigators that when the group was leaving Caesars, he saw the lithographs on the wall and thought it would be “cool” to take them, according to reports.
Allen and Baddeley were reportedly caught on Caesars surveillance video running to Morgan’s vehicle, each with a lithograph in tow. The other two defendants were seen accompanying Allen and Baddeley.
Baddeley, a ski instructor at Heavenly, reportedly told investigators “for some stupid reason I grabbed a picture off the wall at Caesars.”
Deputies responded to Caesars for a theft report at 1:50 a.m. Tuesday. An anonymous casino employee reportedly saw the group take the lithographs, one reported to be a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and the other a seaside landscape.
While en route, deputies learned the suspects were at the Goalpost. The anonymous casino employee said he overheard them talking of going there.
Deputies found Morgan’s vehicle with all four suspects inside in the Goalpost parking lot. Deputies reported Allen, who was driving, put the vehicle in reverse and drove it in the direction of a deputy.
The deputy drew his sidearm and held the suspects at gunpoint until backup arrived. All were taken into custody.
Because Morgan’s vehicle was used to transport the stolen art, the county has commenced forfeiture procedures.
A lithograph is a print made from a surface on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area is ink-repellent.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The reopening of U.S. Highway 50 starts 8 a.m. today for residents and property owners in preparation for its full opening 8 a.m. Tuesday.