Car thefts foiled with arrest |

Car thefts foiled with arrest

Three teen-age boys and a 34-year-old man have been arrested in connection with 10 car thefts at South Shore in the last month.

Police said members of the group were “associates” and not part of a theft ring. The suspects attempted to sell one of the vehicles they stole for parts, the rest were used as a temporary method of transportation then abandoned.

“When they felt the vehicles were hot they’d get rid of them,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Detective Michael Dente. “It was difficult. We felt one guy was doing all the thefts but it was difficult to pin to one area.”

Investigators got a break in the cases when Jonathan Marino, a resident of Moreno Valley, Calif., who had lived for a month at South Shore before his arrest, was allegedly seen driving one of the stolen vehicles.

Two cars that had been reported stolen, a red Toyota Camry, and a gray Nissan Altima, were found at a residence at the 1700 block of Sawmill Road where police found Marino. Investigators believe a pickup, Cadillac and Volvo were also stolen by members of the group.

Detective Michael Dente said one of the teen-agers associated with the group, a 16-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, is responsible for five of the car thefts and one attempted theft. The failed attempt occurred at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 2 behind South Shore Motors at the 1800 block of U. S. Highway 50. The teen-ager allegedly tried to hotwire a blue 2000 Ford Mustang convertible owned by Hertz Rental Cars. The car caught fire and was destroyed.

The 16-year-old has been booked for two counts of car theft. Marino has been booked into jail on two counts of auto theft. His bail is set at $15,000.

The two other teen-agers, 17-year-olds from South Shore, were booked for two counts of auto theft and being under the influence of methamphetamine, which is a violation of their probation. All of the teen-agers were on probation at the time of their arrest.

Dente said Marino has an extensive criminal history in California. He and one of the 17-year-olds were arrested Dec. 5 at the Sawmill Road residence. Police arrested the other 17-year-old Dec. 6 and the 16-year-old on Dec. 7.

Each juvenile was taken to Juvenile Hall in Placerville.

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