Break-ins frustrate Tahoe video game store owner
April 15, 2009
LAKE TAHOE ” Scott Mara, a co-owner of Area 51 Computers and Video Games, hoped the $300 he spent on April 8 to fix the store’s large front window would be the last.
But at about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, thieves broke into the recently repaired storefront, stealing two PlayStation 2 consoles, two Nintendo DS systems, six Game Boy games and about six PlayStation 2 games, Mara said.
Police responded to the store about five minutes after the alarm went off, but were unable to nab the culprits, Mara said.
The incident marks the third time in the past year someone has broken the window during burglary attempts.
“Three times in a year and twice in one week, all I can say is that it’s pretty frustrating ” and expensive too,” Mara said.
In June, burglars broke through the window and stole about $6,000 in merchandise from the store. On April 4, would-be thieves smashed the window, but fled empty-handed after the store’s alarm sounded.
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Fixing the window again, as well as installing security bars, won’t be cheap.
“That’s $1,500 just in the last week … and we’re in the slow season,” Mara said.
The store owner said he’s not particularly happy about the bars, but said they are the better of his two options.
“It was either that or close up,” Mara said.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies cited an 18-year-old South Tahoe High School student and a juvenile on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor this weekend for allegedly hosting a party on Pueblo Street where alcohol was served.
At about 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, deputies were searching the area around Pueblo Street for a party after noticing several cars in the parking lot of Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School with “09” painted on their windows, according to a deputy’s report.
Deputies broke up the party after stopping a carload of teenagers pulling into the parking lot at the school. After deputies questioned the teenagers, they pointed out the house where the party was taking place, according to the report.
n Efforts to find a 51-year-old Sun Valley woman, whose vehicle was found near Markleeville, were suspended over the weekend.
Searchers spent five days trying to find Leslie Lee Gray, using helicopters, dogs, kayaks and quadrunners.
“We really have no viable clues,” said Alpine County Sgt. Ron Michitarian. “It’s been five days straight, and the searchers have started walking back over their own tracks.”
Michitarian said Gray’s disappearance is still being actively investigated with the help of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office.
“If something else changes, we’ll get the word out, but for now we’ve got nothing,” he said. “We may do an area search a week or so down the road and recheck some areas with dogs, but we feel we’ve done a thorough job with what we’ve got.”
Gray’s vehicle was first seen at a popular parking spot for hikers on March 31.
When it was still there on April 5, Alpine County deputies investigated further, finding food in coolers and the keys still in the vehicle.
Search and rescue teams from Alpine and surrounding counties were mobilized and searched both sides of the Carson River’s east fork, in addition to floating the river.
A criminal investigation was also opened.
Friends in Sun Valley, near Reno, said they didn’t know why she was in Markleeville. Gray was reportedly en route to Texas.
” Kurt Hildebrand of The Record-Courier contributed to this report.