Suspects nabbed in vacation burglaries
A search of five Gardnerville Ranchos residences Monday uncovered a large portion of stolen goods taken last month during burglaries of 24 South Lake Tahoe vacation homes, police said.
On Monday, a team of El Dorado County Sheriff’s detectives and Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators recovered electronic equipment worth several thousand dollars and arrested three Gardnerville men for possession of stolen property. Investigators said they connected Jason Clay Bertlow, 23, Vincent Charles Calcese, 19, and Nicholas Ian Calcese, 18, to the property following the arrest of three people they believe committed the burglaries.
Three 17-year-olds, all Douglas High School students, were arrested March 2, after a California Highway Patrol officer spotted a car matching the suspect vehicle description near Barton Memorial Hospital. Investigators said they found a loaded handgun that was taken during one of the break-ins and numerous items of stolen property in the car.
“The burglars specifically picked vacation homes in remote locations, where there was not a lot of foot or vehicle traffic,” said El Dorado Sheriff’s Detective Don Atkinson. “They entered by either smashing a window or prying open a door. Some of the homes were ransacked, and there was some evidence that they stayed in some of the homes for several days, possibly having parties.”
Atkinson said the burglars targeted electronic equipment like VCRs, televisions, and stereo equipment. They also took alcohol. The majority of the burglaries were in the county area, but at least one was within the city limits, Atkinson said. The areas targeted were neighborhoods off North Upper Truckee, Tahoe Paradise, Tahoe Mountain, Grass Lake Road, and three in the Rubicon and Cascade Lake neighborhoods on the West Shore.
“Very few of these burglaries were discovered by the owners,” Atkinson said. “Most were reported by a passer-by and neighbors who noticed a broken window, lights on, or footsteps in the snow leading up the houses.
Atkinson said although a large portion of the stolen property was recovered during the Gardnerville Ranchos search warrants the investigation will continue until all the property is found. Investigators believe the three Gardnerville men were trafficking the stolen property taken during the burglaries. Atkinson said Bertlow and the Calcese brothers are being held in the Douglas County Jail awaiting arraignment on charges of felony possession of stolen property.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Officials said conversations are occurring daily in regards to reopening U.S. Highway 50, but there is still no estimated date as to when traffic may start flowing again.