Car prowlers arrested
South Lake Tahoe police arrested two groups of people they believe are at least partially responsible for a series of recent thefts in the area.
In the past three weeks there have been at least a dozen reports of what is sometimes called “car clouting,” when things are stolen from vehicles.
“We have had a rash of them lately, and they seem to have increased in the last month,” Sgt. Tom Conner said.
Marty Beaman, 18, and Michael Fisher, 22, who both live on South Shore, were arrested Monday and charged with numerous crimes after they allegedly lead police in a high-speed pursuit through the Ski Run neighborhood.
Shortly before 4 a.m. Monday a South Lake Tahoe police officer noticed that the license plate on a vehicle driven by Fisher was expired and attempted to pull him over. Rather than stop, Fisher turned on to Ski Run Boulevard and tried to get away.
Fisher nearly lost control on the icy road but eventually came to a stop after running a stop sign on Sonora Avenue and sliding into a parked car. While the car was still moving, Beaman and Fisher jumped out and fled on foot forcing police to conduct an extensive early morning search.
Police found Beaman at 4:30 a.m. hiding in a back yard on the 3600 block of Alder St. and Fisher was caught 10 minutes later trying to jump a fence on the 3700 block of Paradise Ave.
Beaman has been charged with resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Fisher will face charges of resisting arrest, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
After arresting Beaman, police searched the area for items they might have ditched during the pursuit. A loaded .357-caliber handgun near where he was hiding was recovered. One of the suspects had a syringe and two stolen credit cards in his right front pocket. Police also found a stolen cellular phone in Fisher’s vehicle.
Charges of receiving stolen property and grand theft, as well as possession of a deadly weapon and a hypodermic needle, will likely be added to the cases against either Beaman or Fisher, according to Conner.
Sunday afternoon police were called to the trailer park on Julie Lane by a 19-year-old Placerville woman who had tracked down two teen-age boys who had stolen several things from her car days earlier.
The woman was contacted by someone who said they had found her checkbook, and knew where she could find one of the people responsible for the alleged theft.
The woman soon confronted a 15-year-old boy wearing a jacket she said was stolen from her car. The boy also had a snowboard taken from her car in his room, and told the woman that his 14-year-old accomplice lives in the trailer park.
When police arrived at the 14-year-old boy’s home, they discovered a cellular phone, a number of compact discs and a radar detector all stolen from other vehicles.
The teen-agers were cited for petty theft and possession of stolen property and released to their parents.
“People should take care not to keep valuables in their cars,” Conner said. “You are asking for trouble when you do that.”
Money and cellular phones are popular targets and there are still others committing similar crimes in South Lake Tahoe, Conner said.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday morning another theft was reported on the 2400 block of Chris St.
The victims of car burglaries are not at fault but need to be careful, according to Conner.
“It is mostly a crime of opportunity and part of it is that people leave their cars unlocked and that creates easy access for people who are looking in cars,” he added.
“A lot of kids are roaming the streets at night and they are bored,” he said. “They might not be bad kids, but if they are looking for something to do they can get into trouble.”
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