Man wielding knife arrested for attempted burglary, drug possession in South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe Police arrested an 18-year-old man for alleged attempted burglary and drug possession on Aug. 9 after a foot chase through the Gardner Mountain area of South Lake Tahoe.
The suspect was taken into custody after police found him hiding in the woods.
“We received a call from a driver at 10:40 a.m. that said he saw a male in his late teens on the 900 block of Glorene [Avenue] who appeared to be holding a knife and wearing a ski mask. Neighbors started to call in, too,” said South Lake Tahoe Police Department spokesman Lt. Brian Williams.
Williams said they also received a call that a man matching the suspect’s description had attempted to break into a house on Taylor Way.
When a police officer found and approached the suspect he took off on foot, said Williams.
Lake Tahoe Preschool, located on Glorene Avenue, was forced to take precautions and lock their doors.
This incident took place just a week after police ticketed the same 18-year-old man for possession of methamphetamine, which was again found on him when he was arrested.
This incident points to a larger issue with the reduction of penalties for drug possession brought on by Proposition 47, noted Williams. Proposition 47, passed by California voters in 2014, reduced certain drug-possession felonies to misdemeanors. It also requires misdemeanor sentencing for petty theft under $950.
“A couple of months ago we had a guy shooting up heroin in a restaurant and we couldn’t take him to jail. We took his drugs and wrote him a ticket,” said Williams. “People used to go to jail for that.”
“They must be released on a citation unless certain exceptions exist, such as a likelihood of the events continuing. [In this recent case] he was not inclined to stop, we found drugs on his possession again, and he is likely to continue this offense, so we were able to document that, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to take him to jail.”
Williams said the same goes for people who are stealing from cars, which the South Lake Tahoe Police Department has also noticed an uptick in over the summer.
“It’s the amount of calls that are coming in from people who have had their cars broken into,” said Williams. “Every year without fail in the warmer months this happens.”
“Someone could steal your purse out of your car in your front yard and he wouldn’t go to jail,” explained Williams.
Proposition 47 was passed with nearly 60-percent support in California. Locally, it was opposed by about 51 percent of voters in El Dorado County.
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