‘Sheetrock’ is shy in the courtroom | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘Sheetrock’ is shy in the courtroom

Gregory Crofton

He wanted no attention. He raised his head from his chest only twice, both times to respond to the judge.

“Is David Stevens present?,” asked El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow.

“Yes,” he shot back with his head down, eyes solid on arraignment papers in his lap.

Police have linked “Sheetrock” Stevens to five commercial burglaries at South Lake Tahoe. He is a prime suspect in at least 16 more.

Beginning in late April, a string of 21 burglaries with a similar MO swept through South Lake Tahoe. The thief would pry or smash his way into a hair salon or church or another type of store; then he would dig, cut or kick his way through Sheetrock to enter a neighboring business.

Oddly, the burglar didn’t seem to be after a big score. The thief often left with a change jar or petty cash from a register.

The most recent crime police have tied to Stevens is a break-in at Mandarin Garden Chinese Restaurant. There a burglar got away with $350 – $200 in cash, $100 in quarters and $50 from a coin jar. Also taken were six 21-ounce bottles of beer.

“He smashed up the register with cleaver knife from the kitchen,” said Mai Sin, owner of the restaurant. “He eventually cut himself when he tried to open up the register.”

Lasarow arraigned Stevens Wednesday on charges related to burglary, receiving stolen property and providing false information to an officer.

He is also wanted in San Francisco, San Diego and Marin County on felony burglary warrants. Stevens, who told the judge he was unemployed but had worked in sales, is a suspect in at least nine church break-ins in the Bay area. The thief often caused a great amount of damage to doors and windows but only ate crackers or stole postage stamps once inside, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

He is next expected in court for a preliminary hearing May 31 at 8:30 a.m. His bail is set at $50,000. When Lasarow asked him if he wanted a bail review hearing, Stevens fired back: “That’s unnecessary.”

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