Stevens Lawyer needs more time |

Stevens Lawyer needs more time

A man suspected of burglarizing 18 South Lake Tahoe businesses had his preliminary hearing rescheduled Thursday because his lawyer wants time to work out a plea agreement.

Police caught David Stevens in May outside Ernie’s Coffee Shop, a restaurant on Emerald Bay Road. Since his arrest, Stevens has cooperated with police and admitted to 17 more burglaries, said Detective Mike Dente.

In all of the crimes, a thief opened registers and stole whatever cash available. During a break-in at Mandarin Garden Chinese Restaurant, someone took cash, a coin jar of donations for charity and six cold beers.

In at least two businesses, a burglar dug and kicked his way through Sheetrock walls to enter neighboring stores.

In El Dorado County Superior Court on Thursday, Stevens’ black hair was unkempt and he walked across the court room with his face toward the floor. His court-appointed lawyer, David Rogers, requested a delay, telling the judge, “We’re well on the way to a resolution.”

Rogers also asked that the hearing be pushed back because he needs to finish going over recordings of interviews that detectives conducted with Stevens. The hearing was rescheduled for July 12.

Stevens, a 41-year-old transient, is also a suspect in at least 12 church burglaries in the San Francisco Bay area. In the spring of 2000, he was released from San Quentin State Prison after serving time for commercial burglary.

In late April, a string of 29 commercial break-ins hit South Shore. Stevens is a suspect in 18 of those crimes.

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