Sacto 9-1-1

A Placer County Sheriff's Department air support unit conducted a rescue Tuesday night of a kayaker who paddled off a 30-foot waterfall and sustained severe back injuries on landing, the department reported.

The 27-year-old man was kayaking on the north fork of the American River in a remote area of the Tahoe National Forest when he went over the waterfall, according to a department news release. Other kayakers pulled him from the water and hiked out of the canyon to call for help, the release states.

"The way he went off, his boat apparently hit flat on the water, and that's like hitting concrete," said sheriff's department Sgt. Van Bogardus, who piloted the department's air support unit rescue helicopter.

Auburn police said the man being chased by police into downtown last night was eventually arrested.

Police said this morning that an Auburn Police Department officer recognized Neal John Bugnatto, 28, of Auburn about 10:45 p.m. on High Street near Cleveland Avenue. Police said that he was wanted and had an outstanding warrant.

During a short interview, police said that Bugnatto provided a false name and then ran away. A short chase ensued into downtown Auburn's central square area.

That's where police said they caught up with Bugnatto and arrested him. He was taken to Placer County Jail where police booked him on the outstanding warrant and suspicion of providing false information to a peace officer, resisting and possession of methamphetamine.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

One person died and another sustained burn injuries in a fire that engulfed a multi-unit residential structure in Placer County on Wednesday night, the Placer County Sheriff's Department reported.

Fire crews and sheriff's deputies were dispatched around 7:30 p.m., to the structure in the 200 block of Ponderosa Way in the unincorporated area of Colfax, said sheriff's department Lt. John Savage. Upon arriving, they found the structure well-involved with flames and learned there may have been occupants inside one or two of the units, Savage said.

As crews battled the fire, one victim emerged from the structure with burn injuries, Savage said. That victim was airlifted to the UC Davis Medical Center for treatment.

Three men were arrested by Placer County sheriff's deputies Thursday afternoon after they allegedly entered an Auburn home and stole the residents' medical marijuana, cash and other valuables.

The victims, a husband and wife, called the sheriff's dispatch center at 3:07 p.m. to report that three men, one of whom they knew, had entered their Dry Creek Road home and stolen marijuana and other items. They reported that the men brandished a gun during the robbery and told the couple to stay in a confined area of the home as they left, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

At 3:25 p.m., deputies spotted the three suspects driving westbound on Interstate 80 near Douglas Boulevard in Roseville. The car was stopped on the side of the freeway and the suspects were taken into custody without incident. Inside the car, deputies found a handgun that matched the description of the gun used during the robbery. Officials said some property also was discovered.thomas david eugene.jpgtipton robin oscar.jpgpatton duane edward II.jpg

Taylor John Pitman.JPGRocklin police have arrested a man suspected of early morning burglaries on Sunset Boulevard.

Police said just after 2 a.m. today a burglar alarm was tripped at a pizza parlor in the 2200 block of Sunset Boulevard. When officers arrived at the business, they saw that a window had been broken for entrance.

The business owner arrived and viewed the burglary security video, which showed a white man with a medium build, tank top and black shorts. He also had a tattoo.

Roseville police on Tuesday arrested three men in connection with a marijuana robbery and are looking for a fourth suspect.

About 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, three Sacramento men met with four other men in the parking lot of a Galleria Boulevard restaurant to conduct a marijuana sale, according to a Police Department news release. Instead of paying, the four suspects robbed the Sacramento men of their marijuana at gunpoint, then fled in a black Toyota sedan, police said.

A Roseville police officer spotted the vehicle on westbound Interstate 80 and followed it to the dead end of Kenroy Lane, off Riverside Avenue. Two of the passengers got out of the car and fled on foot. The other two remained with the car and were taken into custody.

anthony mcdonald-randolph.jpegbradley_montrell_lee.jpeg

Jump 6-23-11.jpgAuburn police have arrested a woman on suspicion of purse snatching and are asking if other people have had their handbag grabbed by the same suspect.

Shelly Jump (left), 44, of Auburn was arrested Thursday. Police said they believe she attempted to steal a 24-year-old woman's purse on May 17 along Auburn Ravine Road.

The victim was able to hold onto her purse and run away. An investigation by Detective Dustin McLaughlin led to Jump as the person authorities beleive tried to steal the purse.

McLaughlin arrested Jump near Highway 49 and Elm Avenue on suspicion of attempted robbery and resisting arrest. He asks that anyone with a similar experience involving Jump contact him at (530) 823-4237.

Rasmussen 6-23-11.jpgAuburn police have arrested another suspect thought to be involved in the stabbing of a man who tried to chase down two people he believed had broken into his car.

Gavin Rasmussen (left), 20, was arrested after turning himself into authorities at the Placer County Jail on Wednesday. Police earlier arrested Joseph Montgomery, 19.

Police say the incident began Friday before 11 p.m. when a 19-year-old Cool resident discovered his vehicle had been broken into while it was parked. The victim saw a car driving away from the scene and gave chase in his own vehicle.

Roseville police said DNA evidence left behind on a water bottle by a bank robber has led them to a suspect.

Detectives arrested Shawn Todd David Knuckey, 41, of Sacramento, last week on suspicion of robbery. Police believe that on May 14, 2010 he held up the River City Bank inside the Bel Air supermarket, 1039 Sunrise Ave.

A robber wearing a baseball cap and a San Francisco Giants shirt presented a bank clerk a note that demanded money. He was given cash and then left the store.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The Placer County District Attorney's office announced today that they have made an arrest in January 2000 Roseville homicide.

Michael Elijah Adams, a 44-year-old transient suspected of being a member of a violent train-hopping gang, was arrested May 17 in Clark County, Wash., on unrelated charges.

Adams now faces charges related to the January 2000 murder of John Semler Owens, a 46-year-old transient freight-train rider. Owens was found dead Jan. 21 on a gravel service road near the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

The Bee first reported his connection to the Roseville murder June 4, but the DA's office refused to talk about the case and ordered the Roseville Police Department not to talk about the case.

According to the DA's office, Adams agreed to be extradited to California.


By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Roseville Police are looking for witnesses to a late-night stabbing that occurred early this month in Old Town Roseville.

Just before 2 a.m. June 4, a 21-year-old Olivehurst man was assaulted by five or six men in the 300 block of Lincoln Street. One of the attackers stabbed the victim in the back. The injuries were not life-threatening.

According to witnesses the victim had an earlier altercation with another man at Bar Basic.

The police are looking for anyone who might have been in the area, especially those who may have taken photos. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Marc Kelley at (916) 774-5073 or crime stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward if the information they provide leads to an arrest.

By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

A young boy was killed this morning when his father accidently hit him in the driveway of their Roseville home, police said.

The man was backing up his sport utility vehicle in the driveway of his home on the 300 block of Hickory Street and didn't see the boy, said Lt. Marc Glynn of the Roseville Police Department. The boy was about 3 years old.

No charges are expected. "This is just a tragic accident," Glynn said.

The father was backing up the vehicle so the family could take a trip, and the boy apparently followed him outside without his father knowing, Glynn said.

By Max Ehrenfreund


A 17-year-old boy was the victim of a shooting and of a vehicular assault in Lincoln last night, according to a press release from the Lincoln Police Department.

The youth's single wound, in a lower extremity, was not life-threatening. He was treated and released at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

A Lincoln woman, Lavada Keen, 37, was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and harboring or concealing a felon.

Lieutenant David Ibarra explained that an argument broke out between the two juveniles outside a home in the 900 block of First Street. Keen attempted to run down the victim before the suspect shot the victim, according to Ibarra. Multiple shots were fired around 10:45 p.m.

Keen then allegedly fled with the suspect in her vehicle. She later returned to the scene and was arrested without incident.

Officers have not located the 16-year-old shooting suspect, or his weapon.

Police have made a third arrest in connection with a shooting and robbery in Rocklin early Sunday morning. They are no longer seeking additional suspects.

The arrest last night concludes a round-the-clock, interagency investigation that lasted several days.

The Rocklin Police Department has arrested a second person and is looking for a third in connection with a shooting early Sunday at the intersection of Sunset and Blue Oaks boulevards.

Police say the shooting occurred at 1:57 a.m. and the victim drove himself to Sutter-Roseville Medical Center, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the neck.

Jamie Payton, 28, of Weimar was arrested 5:30 p.m. Sunday and booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of a controlled substance. Detectives seized two vehicles related to the shooting and processed them for evidence, according to a Police Department news release.Ryan Michael Norris.bmp

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com


Two Roseville brothers pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to receipt and distribution of child pornography.

According to court documents, in early 2009, law enforcement officials identified computers at the home of Sam I. Coburn, 34, and Matthew J. Coburn, 27, that were trading files of child pornography through an Internet file-sharing service. When law enforcement agents executed a search warrant at the Coburn's home, they found multiple computers with pictures and videos showing the sexual molestation of children, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Several thousand image files and 573 video files of the sexual molestation of children were on a computer shared by the brothers, officials said. On a laptop owned by Sam Coburn, agents found 242 pictures and seven videos of child pornography that he had downloaded between March 2005 and December 2007.

Rocklin police are still searching for suspects in an early-morning shooting.

Just before 2 a.m., police received a report of a shooting at Sunset and Blue Oaks boulevards, the department said in a news release.

The unidentified victim had driven himself to the Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was admitted for treatment, the release said.

Officers searched the area but found no suspects. They canvassed nearby neighborhoods for other victims but found none.

Calls to the Rocklin Police Department seeking additional details were not returned.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Rocklin police at (916) 625-5400.

A 34-year-old woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of forgery, identity theft and narcotics violations after police and California state parole officers conducted a parole search of an Auburn residence.

Parole officers entered the residence on Easy Way in Auburn and detained Michelle Patton, who was the subject of the search, and her friend, Timothy Briggs, 31, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

Parole officers informed Auburn police that, during the search of Patton's bedroom, they found narcotics paraphernalia and other suspicious items.

An Auburn police officer found several items of identification that did not belong to Patton, as well as forged money orders, according to the news release. A detective recognized the forged money orders from a case investigated earlier this year. The detective also reported that Patton displayed symptoms of being under the influence methamphetamine.

The Roseville Police Department Traffic Unit has scheduled a DUI/Driver's License checkpoint for June 17 at an undisclosed location in the city, according to a police department release.

Officers will check drivers for signs of impairment and for valid driver's licenses. The checkpoint will be held from 8 p.m. June 17 until 2:30 a.m. the following morning, according to the release.

The CHP will be targeting speeders with radar enforcement today on Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada.

California Highway Patrol officers in the Gold Run, Auburn and Truckee areas will be focusing on speeders and people who talk on their cellphones while driving. Teams using radar will be working throughout the day.

"Our message is simple," said Gold Run Lt. Commander John Arrabit. "We want to remind motorists to drive safely this summer so that their loved ones won't have to drive to the hospital or mortuary."

The anti-speeding campaign today will be replayed several times throughout the summer.

In addition, officers from the Valley Division's Commercial Enforcement group will conduct vehicle inspections on big rigs.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

The man accused of killing three people at a Loomis home over the weekend entered not guilty pleas to all charges at his arraignment in Placer County Superior Court on Wednesday.

Jeremy Ray Baker, 36, of Roseville, was formally charged with three counts of murder and one count of possessing a firearm silencer.

He was also charged with a special allegation of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm causing death or great bodily injury, and a special circumstances allegation of multiple murder.

The latter allegation could make Baker eligible for the death penalty, although that decision has yet to be made, said Placer County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wilson.

A Loomis woman is in Placer County Jail accused of poisoning her husband.

bettencourt rachel melody.jpgRachel Melody Bettencourt (left), 53, was booked early today on suspicion of willful poisoning and inflicting corporal punishment on a spouse. She is being held on $100,000 bail.

Placer County Sheriff's deputies were called to Sutter Roseville Medical Center at 8:30 p.m. Monday at the request of South Placer Fire Department officials. Firefighters had responded to Bettencourt's Tudsbury Road home and found the situation suspicious, according to Sheriff's Department news release.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police will continue their investigation Tuesday into the death of a 44-year-old man who was found shot in an office park on Industrial Avenue this afternoon.

Sgt. Daniel Wanamaker said police received a report of a disturbance at 3:19 p.m. While officers were en route they were told that gunshots had been heard coming from the offices of Skim X, an extreme sports company in the 8200 block of Industrial Avenue.

Wanamaker said officers established a perimeter around the building at the rear of the business park. Armed with shields and rifles, they entered the warehouse-style building at 3:55 p.m. and found Christopher Dale Northam dead with at least one gunshot wound.

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A burglary suspect remains in a Roseville hospital today after being shot Sunday by an off-duty sheriff's deputy who had intercepted the man as he was being chased by Rocklin police.

The Roseville Police Department, which is investigating the incident, said Sergey Pautov, 22, of Rancho Cordova was listed in fair condition today.

The burglary suspect was admitted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center after the shooting. Rockin police said he will be arrested on suspicion of felony burglary, reckless evading and possession of a stolen vehicle.

By Tony Bizjak

tbizjak@sacbee.com

An off-duty Placer County sheriff's deputy shot and wounded a man believed to be fleeing police after robbing a Rocklin convenience store Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The shooting took place at Cambria Park in Roseville, Lt. Jamie Knox of the Rocklin Police Department said.

The Sacramento man investigators call the "Goatman Bandit" was sentenced to prison Thursday for a series of bank robberies.

Federal District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sentenced John Raymond Porter, 42, to eight years, four months in prison.

Porter was convicted of four counts of bank robbery, though he admitted to committing nine bank robberies, a news release from the federal prosecutor states.

The bank robberies Porter admitted to committing occurred in 2008 and 2009 in Roseville, Auburn, Citrus Heights, El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park.

Porter's sobriquet was bestowed by Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force investigaors who noted the crook's goatee.

Rewards are being offered in an effort to stop a flood of plumbing equipment thefts in Roseville.

Thieves have stolen backflow valves 46 times in the city between October and early May. That has cost property owners about $81,000 for equipment repair and replacement.

The devices prevent contaminated water from backing up into drinking water supply. Thieves generally go onto a commercial property late at night and first turn off the water supply.

An autopsy has revealed that a toddler found dead in February inside her Roseville home suffered from rare heart condition.

The 16-month-old girl, Isabella Michelle Heredia, died Feb. 11 inside her Hearthside Way home. Police and fire crews went to the child's home, responding to reports that she was not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

No obvious signs of trauma were reported. Investigators could not immediately determine how or why she died.

A man has been sentenced under the state's Three Strikes law for failure to register as a sex offender, Placer County prosecutors reported.

Leroy Dale Holsey was sentenced last Friday by Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark Curry to 28 years to life. Holsey, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney, had prior convictions for sexual assault, robbery and molesting children.

The offense for which he was sentenced was Holsey's third conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. Holsey came to the attention of police when they responded to a report that he was blocking the path of girl bicyclists in a Roseville alley and a previous report where he was suspected of peeking into a neighbor's home.

Officers discovered Holsey's criminal history and failure to register as a sex offender in Roseville.

Concluding a case launched by law enforcement officials in Germany, a Roseville man was sentenced today to more than 10 years in prison for receipt of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez sentenced Thomas Lee Neal, 42, to 10 years and three months in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release for receipt and possession of child pornography, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Neal pleased guilty to the charges March 1.

According to court documents, in May 2009, German law enforcement officials identified Neal as an individual who had uploaded to a file-sharing website in Roseville a video of child pornography. When U.S. agents executed a search warrant on Neal's house, they seized computers that contained images of child pornography.

A 30-year-old Roseville man has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the kidnap and rape of a 24-year-old woman.

Justin Lee Mitchell was sentenced May 13 in Auburn by Placer County Superior Court Judge Marc S. Curry.

Mitchell pleaded guilty March 30 to kidnapping and rape with a foreign object, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Truckee Truckee police said they chased down and arrested three teens on suspicion of burglary early today.

Officers were called to an apartment complex on Rue Ivy Avenue about 2 a.m. where a resident said several people were trying to break into his home.

When officers arrived three people ran from officers.

One turned and fought officers, but was arrested after a short struggle, police said.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The city of Roseville will sponsor a variety of free events during Roseville Community Safety Day at the Westfield Galleria on Saturday.

Free activities are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Motor officers from agencies statewide will test their skills in challenge courses and speed contests in the Police Motorcycle Skill Competition.

A woman who died early today at a Colfax home in what sheriff's deputies believe was a domestic dispute has been identified as Sarah Burr, 30, of Grass Valley.

Lee Martin Konnerth, 35, described as Burr's boyfriend, was booked into Placer County Jail after he was taken into custody by an off-duty officer. The officer heard gunshots in the vicinity of Catskill Drive, between Weimar and Colfax, and went to the scene to investigate.

The officer found Burr dead on the porch of the home. He took two men into custody at gunpoint until Placer County sheriff's deputies arrived.

Konnerth.jpgPlacer County sheriff's officials said a Colfax man was arrested early today on suspicion of homicide in the killing of a woman in a domestic dispute.

Lee Martin Konnerth, 35, was booked into Placer County Jail after he was taken into custody by an off-duty officer. The officer heard gunshots Sunday evening in the vicinity of Catskill Drive between Weimar and Colfax and went to the scene to investigate.

The officer found the woman dead on the porch of the home. He took two men into custody at gunpoint until Placer County Sheriff's deputies arrived.

A masked suspect with a large handgun robbed the Heritage Inn on Rocklin Road of more than $900 Friday, Rocklin police reported.

The assailant entered at about 11 p.m., brandished the gun and demanded cash.

The robber is believed to be a stocky male, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall.

shade steven allen May 2011.jpgA parolee who was reported prowling behind a north Auburn apartment complex and looking in windows was arrested by Placer County Sheriff's deputies early this morning, a sheriff's spokeswoman said today.

Steven Allen Shade (left), 43, refused to comply with the orders of a deputy who chased him from the area behind the Terracina Oaks Apartments, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. When Shade repeatedly ignored the deputy's commands and kept reaching into his pocket, the deputy used his Taser to control Shade, the release states.

An apartment resident called the Sheriff's Department's emergency dispatch center at 5:50 a.m. to report that a man was outside of his rear bedroom window, peering inside. The area behind the apartments is gated and fenced, but officials said Shade entered through a damaged section of fencing.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A Roseville man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to wire fraud and admitted that he and a cohort bilked 22 real estate investors out of nearly $3 million.

Royce Lee Newcomb signed off on a written plea agreement that describes this scheme:

In 2009 and early 2010, he solicited people to purchase real property, primarily foreclosed homes, and directed them to send the money to Contour Escrow Services, operated by Barry Winnett, who was in on the scam and had no license to perform escrow services.

Four people, including two children, suffered minor injuries in a three-vehicle collision that closed Highway 65 near Sheridan for about an hour this morning.

The collision occurred about 7:49 a.m. A black Dodge Charger, driven by a 35-year-old Sheridan woman, was traveling northbound on Highway 65 north of Riosa Road and was slowing from a speed of 55 mph to make a left turn across the southbound lanes into a private driveway, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

The Charger had its left turn signal on, when a Kenworth big-rig tractor-trailer combination, driven by a 37-year-old Olivehurst woman, approached from behind traveling about 55 mph.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

In an unexpected turn, a Chico man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Sacramento to $21 million in mortgage fraud.

Garret Griffith Gililland III also agreed to testify in the pending mortgage fraud case against Loomis Wealth Solutions.

The Loomis case is the largest mortgage fraud case in the history of the Sacramento region.

Suspect.jpg

Rocklin police are looking for two men in connection with an early morning armed robbery of a convenience store. (Surveillance photo above shows one of the suspects entering the store.)

Officers responded at 2:21 a.m. today to the 7-Eleven store and gas station at 6001 Stanford Ranch Road regarding a robbery that had just occurred.

A store employee told police that two men, one holding a shotgun, had robbed the store. After taking cash, the suspects left in an unknown direction.

Lawyers for a youth pastor who sued the owners of Westfield Galleria at Roseville over free speech say they have resolved his case out of court.

In October, the California Supreme Court denied a Westfield request to review a lower court's ruling that the mall's rules restricting communication among strangers are a violation of free speech.

The appellate court ruled that Westfield's conduct of prohibiting talk among strangers unless it relates to the mall and is approved in advance "are unconstitutional on their face" under the California Constitution's free speech guarantee, according to an appellate opinion.

One person died and another was seriously injured this afternoon in a collision reported about 3:20 p.m. at Auburn Boulevard and College Oak Drive.

Officer Lizz Dutton of the California Highway Patrol said a 33-year-old man was driving southbound on Auburn Boulevard in a Chevrolet 3500 pickup pulling a trailer fully loaded with rock and other debris. He was traveling about 40 mph and approaching College Oak Drive, when a 92-year-old man driving a Ford F10 pickup made a left turn onto College Oak.

The Chevy 3500 pickup struck the F10 on the passenger side. The F10 hit a curb and turned over on the driver's said.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol has identified the victim of a Monday afternoon collision in south Placer County near Roseville.

Robert Ortiz, 49, of Roseville, died after his 2006 Ford Ranger collided head-on with a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup being driven by Bethany Sperling, 50, of Carmichael, at about 5:05 p.m. on Baseline Road near Walerga Road, according to a CHP news release.

Sperling was airlifted to Roseville Sutter Medical Center after the crash with major injuries, the CHP reported.

Roseville police will conduct a DUI checkpoint Saturday, at an undisclosed location from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Roseville Police Department reported.

Officers will check drivers for signs of alcohol and drug impairment, and will also check drivers' licenses, according to a police department release. Those found to be driving impaired could face jail, vehicle storage fees, license suspension, fines and DUI classes, the release states.

The checkpoint is being conducted with grant funding from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Over the past three years, DUI collisions in Roseville have led to eight deaths and resulted in 122 injury crashes, according to the release.

Q: What happened in the road-rage case involving Pat Walsh of KFBK? - Anonymous, Sacramento

A: Two men were charged with misdemeanor battery in the alleged road-rage attack last year on KFBK sportscaster Pat Walsh, according to the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

John Patrick O'Neill, 52, and his son, Cory Taylor O'Neill, 23, both of Newcastle, face a May 2 trial, court records show.

A man died and a woman was seriously injured late this afternoon in a collision in south Placer County near Roseville.

California Highway Patrol spokesman Terence Sims said a woman driving a Ford F250 truck was westbound on Baseline Road near Walerga Road shortly after 5 p.m. when her vehicle drifted into the eastbound lane and collided with a smaller eastbound pickup truck.

The male driver of the eastbound pickup was pronounced dead at the scene, and the woman was taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with major injuries, Sims said. The name of the driver who died has not been released pending notification of family.

A federal grand jury has indicted an Auburn man for allegedly receiving by fraud more than $210,000 in workers' compensation benefits.

The indictment charges Bruce Lee Cearlock, 74, with theft of government money, mail fraud, and making false statements, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

According to the indictment, starting no later than August 2005, Cearlock made false statements about his employment and income and received more than $210,000 in government workers' comp benefits under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act, Wagner said.

Two Reno men have been arrested after allegedly carrying out a scam to steal items from Auburn's Home Depot.

Scott K. Nelson, 46, (bottom left) and C. Nicholas Psarras, 47, (bottom right) were booked into Placer County Jail on Sunday afternoon after loss prevention employees reported observing Nelson place his homemade UPC stickers over the store's UPC stickers on boxes in his cart. After ringing up his own purchases at the self-service register, Nelson exited the store and was confronted by employees, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department news release.

Officials said he fought with the employees before being handcuffed and taken back to the store. It was determined that Nelson had paid $97 for items valued at $810, according to the news release.

Three members of the Placer County District Attorney's Office have won awards this month from different organizations.

Two of the winners are prosecutors -- Karin Bjork and Garen Horst - while the third is criminal investigator Brandon Olivera, according to a news release from the DA's office.

Bjork, a 20-year veteran prosecutor and currently a supervising deputy district attorney, was named as a Volunteer of the Year by KidsFirst, a Placer County organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, during the group's 13th annual awards presentation on April 1.

Two men arrested in a crime spree in Auburn and Nevada County were arraigned today in Placer County Superior Court in Auburn.

Defendants Dillon James McMahon, 22, of Roseville, and John Cody Adrian, 19, of Colfax appeared before Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office spokesman.

McMahon's attorney, Helen Fong of the Placer County Public Defender's Office, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to two counts of carjacking, one count of kidnapping, one count of kidnapping during commission of a carjacking and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime. All are felonies.

04-20-11 - DUI Driver Arrested after brief pursuit.pdf - Adobe Reader.bmpA 63-year-old Newcastle man has been arrested by Auburn police after he allegedly hit two vehicles and a metal gate while driving drunk Tuesday evening, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

Auburn police officers responded to the area of Sacramento Street and Auburn Folsom Road at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, after receiving a report of a suspected drunk driver who had been involved in multiple hit-and-run collisions, the release states.

Officers found that the suspect had hit two motorists on Auburn Folsom Road and driven through a gate in a residential neighborhood, according to the release. When officers located the suspect and attempted to stop him, he led them on a brief pursuit.

An 81-year-old man, beaten by attempted robbers Monday, has been upgraded to serious condition, Sutter Roseville Hospital officials reported today.

The victim, Jim Wright, was beaten with a tire iron at his home in Nevada County, after he refused to give money to attempted robbers.

Two suspects, Dillon James McMahon, bottom left, 22, of Roseville, and John Cody Adrian, bottom right, 19, of Colfax, were arrested by Yuba County law-enforcement officers Monday night following a high-speed pursuit near Marysville in which their vehicle was stopped by a spike strip.

They are expected to be arraigned today in Placer Superior Court on various charges.

Read earlier item here.

mcmahon dillon j.jpg adrian john cody.jpg

A Roseville couple is out on bail after being arrested on suspicion of tax evasion.

Franchise Tax Board special agents arrested Dino Puma, 48, a real estate broker and his wife, Jennifer Puma, 43, on Friday for allegedly failing to file their 2004-2007 state income tax returns and report more than $700,000 income, according to a press release from the board.

The state said the couple owes more than $44,000 in unpaid tax. Additional interest, penalties and cost of investigation will also be sought.

TAYLOUR.jpgAuburn police have arrested a 20-year-old homeless man on suspicion of raping a 14-year-old girl while she was intoxicated and possibly unconscious.

Patrol officers investigating the attack that allegedly occurred Saturday, located the suspect, Taylour Francis Jordan, left, at a camp in Auburn, where he was living, according to a police department news release. He was arrested and booked at the Placer County jail, where he is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

Police said he is accused of rape with the victim unconscious of the nature of the act and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than three years younger than he is.

By Bill Lindelof and Barbara Osborn
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two Placer County men were booked Tuesday for investigation of assault, kidnapping and two car thefts they allegedly committed during a three-day, three-county crime spree.

Dillon James McMahon, 22, of Roseville, and John Cody Adrian, 19, of Colfax, were arrested by Yuba County law-enforcement officers Monday night following a high-speed pursuit near Marysville in which their vehicle was stopped by a spike strip.

Earlier Monday evening, the pair is suspected of severely beating an elderly man with a tire iron in Nevada County when he refused to give them money.

In another twist on an old scam, a New York woman was introduced to Placer County this week when she found herself the target of con artists.

Osnat Edrich immediately knew something was amiss Tuesday when she received a check for $2,980 purporting to be from the county of Placer and bearing the address 2980 Richardson Drive, in the county government center in Auburn.

Edrich said she had never heard of Placer County or Auburn and had no idea why she would receive such a payment, until she received an email announcing her "first official assignment" and directing her to "get it done ASAP."

Kathy[1].JPGQ: A relative of mine, Kathleen Neff, disappeared in 1980 and her body was found later in Sacramento County? Was anyone ever arrested? - Anonymous, Sacramento

A: No one has been arrested in her homicide, according to The Bee archives and available records. (At left is photo of Neff released by her family in 1980.)

Neff, 21, disappeared after dropping her car off for service at a dealership on Florin Road near Franklin Boulevard on Oct. 16, 1980, The Bee reported.

Pheasant hunters found her body was found almost a month later in a drainage ditch off Elliott Ranch Road, approximately six miles south of the dealership. The badly decomposed body was clad only in a pair of socks.

clip image002.jpg An Auburn man has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her and their 2-year-old daughter, the Auburn Police Department reported.

Last Friday, an Auburn Police officer met with an 18-year-old woman who reported being assaulted by her husband, later identified as 24-year-old Tyler Monsen (left), according to an Auburn police news release.

The victim claimed that she had gone to Monsen's residence on April 5 at his request to discuss financial matters after he had allegedly threatened to kill her and their daughter if she did not comply, the release states.

fishman.JPGA Los Gatos man has been sentenced in Placer County Superior Court to five years in prison for a plot to seek revenge for a perceived wrongdoing by a contractor who built a retaining wall for him.

Udi Fishman, left, 60, a mechanical engineer and rental property owner, was convicted by a trial jury on Feb. 1 of first-degree residential burglary with a finding by the jury that people were present in the home during the commission of the crime. He also was convicted of attempted false imprisonment, possession of a deadly weapon - a billy club - and two counts of illegal use of tear gas. The jury acquitted him of attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.

Fishman disguised himself as a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. worker, drove to the Auburn-area home of the contractor and used bear spray on the man's wife and her brother-in-law, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release. He then physically fought with the brother-in-law before being stabbed with a knife by the female victim.

Police say that somebody left a water bottle bomb in an Auburn driveway over the weekend.

Auburn police officers were called to the 400 block of Riverview Drive on Sunday where a citizen reported finding a water bottle with a chemical odor and BBs inside. A Placer County Sheriff's Department explosive ordnance department deputy responded and disposed of the device.

Police said the homemade devices can cause injury from explosion, including severe burns. Police said there is no information to release on why the bottle was left in the driveway.

A 53-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl in Kings Beach.

Silvestre Calderon Marquez was sentenced Wednesday by Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis. Marquez pleaded guilty last month to a felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Prosecutor Tracy Lunardi said Marquez had moved into a home with the girl's family, and the sexual abuse of the child occurred form December 2009 to March 2010.

An identity theft pioneer has received a two-year state prison sentence in Placer County for making life miserable for a Florida man.

Joseph Daniel Oscar Kidd, 56, was sentenced Friday in Placer County Superior Court after pleading no contest to identity theft and welfare fraud.

Kidd assumed the name of Larry Edward Smith in 1993 after he obtained the real Smith's date of birth and social security number.

Kidd moved to Auburn and was arrested numerous times for drugs and once for forgery.

"He's been convicted in seven prior Placer County cases under the victim's identity of Larry Smith," said prosecutor Joe Hoffmann of the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Meanwhile, the real Larry Smith was tormented by Kidd's theft of his identity. Smith, 67 and a resident of Florida, has had liens placed against tax refunds, been denied medical care, had his driver's license suspended and once was stuck in jail for eight days under an arrest warrant because of Kidd's crimes in California.

Prosecutor Hoffmann plans to help Smith even more.

"I am petitioning the court to find Larry Smith factually innocent in all 7 prior criminal cases that involved Mr. Kidd," Hoffmann said in a district attorney's press release.

Three teenage boys were held up in broad daylight earlier this week in Auburn.

The boys were walking along High Street near College Way about 2 p.m. Monday when a dark gray or black sedan pulled up and a passenger armed with a knife got out. The robber took a cell phone from one of the boys.

Auburn police described the robber as white, 20 to 25 years old, with a goatee and brown hair. He was wearing a blue and black baseball cap and a long blue t-shirt.

An Auburn-area martial arts instructor has been arrested on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a child.

Matthew Barraza.BMPAuburn Police Department detectives arrested Matthew Barraza, 31, on Monday following an investigation. He is accused of committing lewd acts with a 14-year-old who was one of his martial arts students, according to a Police Department news release.

Barraza was booked into Placer County Jail with bail set at $250,000.


A 66-year-old graduate of Del Oro High School in Loomis has been sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to take anger management classes for one year for making criminal threats against the school's head football coach.

Dennis Blaine McLin was angry because players at the school had continued to wear a jersey number that was supposed to have been retired in 1961, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

He was sentenced Friday after pleading no contest to a felony count of stalking and a misdemeanor charge of making criminal threats.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

One woman has been arrested and Auburn police seek the public's help in locating a second woman in connection with a fraudulent credit card transaction at a local business.

The two women, identified as Regina Yuvienco and Karina Santiago, are accused of attempting to purchase electronics equipment with a fraudulent credit card at an electronics store on Grass Valley Highway in Auburn.

When the credit card transaction was declined, the suspects told the store clerk that they would call the customer service number for the credit card company to obtain an approval, according to Police Department news release.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Auburn police have arrested a pair of teens they believe stole a friend's ATM card, and then tried to use it at the friend's workplace.

The 16-year-old victim reported the attempted use of his card to Officer Stan Hamelin on March 26.

The teen's co-workers at the Taco Tree on Oakwood Drive in Auburn told him that two people tried to use his card March 13 to buy less than $10 of food.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Placer County sheriff's detectives have arrested one of two women suspected of passing nearly $27,000 in counterfeit bills in Placer and Sacramento counties, a sheriff's detective said.

Aimee Taylor, 26, of Sacramento, was arrested at 3 p.m. Thursday at Heritage Inn in Roseville, said sheriff's Detective Jim Hudson. Information provided by the public helped detectives find Taylor.

Placer County sheriff's detectives, Roseville police and U.S. Secret Service officials participated in the arrest, Hudson said.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The city of Rocklin has promoted one of its two police captains to the chief's position.

Capt. Ronald Lawrence, 41, will assume the chief's role effective Friday.

Lawrence has been in law enforcement since 1990, and with the department since 2009.

taylor aimee.jpg smith brandie.jpgBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Placer County sheriff's detectives seek the public's help in finding two women accused of passing nearly $27,000 in counterfeit bills in Placer and Sacramento counties.

Aimee Taylor, left, 27, and Brandie Smith, right, 26, both of Sacramento, are suspected of passing the fake money.

Anyone with information on their location is asked to call Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855.

By Bee Staff

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a former Rocklin drywall installer today to 28 months prison for failing to pay more than $1 million in taxes.

Benjamin B. Wagner, the U.S. attorney in Sacramento, said that William Roseberry, 59, previously of Rocklin, had earlier pleaded guilty to tax fraud.

Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton also ordered Roseberry to pay the Internal Revenue Service $1,040,500.36.

By Matthew Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A Sacramento County man convicted of trying to run down a Roseville policeman with his car in 2009 was sentenced Friday to five years and four months in state prison.

Walter Carrillo, 19, was sentenced by Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry after being convicted Jan. 26 of felony assault on a peace officer and other charges, including hit-and-run driving causing injury, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

In addition to the prison sentence, Carrillo's driving privileges were revoked for life, according to the release.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Auburn police have arrested a man for an attempted robbery in an alleyway last night.

Police said that a 25-year-old man was walking on in the 800 block of Lincoln Way about 11 p.m. Sunday when he was approached by another man they identified as Darrell Eugene Polk.

Polk, police said, asked the man for cigarettes before pulling the victim by his coat into the alley. There, Polk, 34, allegedly pulled a knife and asked for the victim's money.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

A Lincoln man caught with a small arsenal of weapons was charged Thursday in a federal grand jury indictment with being a felon in possession of firearms, including three machine guns and a fragmentation grenade.

The weapons were seized three months ago from Eric William Smith, who was previously convicted of felony grand theft in Sacramento County.

Smith, 36, faces a maximum prison term of 10 years on each of the indictment's three counts.

KOVACICH_PAUL_RALPH[1].JPGQ: I heard Paul Kovacich Jr., a former Placer County deputy sheriff who killed his wife, is being held in a minimum security prison. Is that true? - Anonymous, Placer County

A: No. Kovacich, now 61, is being held in medium security at Ironwood State Prison at Blythe, a State Corrections and Rehabilitation Department spokesman said. (Photo at left is a 2006 jail booking photo.)

Ironwood has minimum and medium security inmates, according to the prison's description on the corrections department's website, which may have caused the confusion.

Kovacich was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison in April 2009 for the 1982 murder of his wife, The Bee reported.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 58-year-old Oakland man was found dead this morning on a ski run within the Soda Springs ski resort in Placer County.

A Placer County search and rescue K-9 team located John Hoffman on the Strawberry Field ski run about 9 a.m., said Placer County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Ausnow.

He said there were no signs of trauma and it is possible that Hoffman, who was skiing alone, died from natural causes. The cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is completed, Ausnow said.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An Auburn man has been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading no contest to a single count of possessing counterfeiting apparatus.

Jerod Williams, 24, was arrested March 11 on suspicion of cashing and attempting to cash fraudulent checks at the Cash Club in Auburn. Police said they had received reports that Williams was impersonating a Wave Broadband employee to obtain goods and services.

Williams entered the plea in Placer County Superior Court on Friday.

adameking.jpgBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two Sacramento men were arrested in Auburn on suspicion of burglary and identity theft, after a Target store security guard recognized them as individuals suspected of previously using a stolen credit card at the business.

The men, identified as Stacy Alan King (above, left), 22, and Michael Raymond Adame (above, right), 28, are suspected of vehicle burglaries in Sacramento and Placer counties.

They entered the Target store on Bell Road in Auburn at 6 p.m. Saturday, and the security guard recognized them as suspects in an incident that had occurred the previous week, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department news release. Store security officers monitored the men and called the Sheriff's Department. Deputies detained the men as they left the store.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two people were arrested on suspicion of breaking into the Stanford Ranch Animal Medical Center late last night.

Rocklin police said that at about 10:20 p.m. Sunday officers went to the vet hospital at 2311 Sunset Blvd. after receiving a report of two people trying to break into the rear of the business. The burglars were reported to be dressed in black and attempting to pry open a door.

However, the burglars were not successful and left before the arrival of officers. They returned after officers went back on patrol, residents of a nearby apartment complex reporting that that the burglars were back at it shortly before midnight.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

An Auburn woman's credit card was used for video games, but the 77-year-old wasn't the PlayStation addict.

The woman reported losing her purse on her return from the grocery store back in January, Auburn police reported.

She believed it had fallen out of her car and that someone who found it was using her credit cards.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com
SvandaJames Warren.JPG
An Auburn man was arrested last week after he allegedly poked his female housemate in the forehead with a fork during an argument, according to an Auburn Police Department release.

James Warren Svanda, 59, was arrested following an argument Saturday that apparently escalated because some items in the household broke, according to the release.

Officers responded to a residence in the 11000 block of Camjen Lane at about 3:30 p.m. March 12 and found a woman with minor injuries to her head. She alleged that Svanda, also a resident, had poked her with a fork, the release states.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two Davis residents have died of injuries sustained Thursday in a head-on traffic collision in Placer County.

The California Highway Patrol reported that Maria McArren, 74, and Richard Tanner, 77, died Thursday afternoon after being taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

The collision occurred shortly before noon as Billy A. Keller, 25, of Foresthill was driving a Mazda 626 westbound of Foresthill Road, east of Drivers Flat. McArren was driving a Honda Civic eastbound on Foresthill Road, when Keller's vehicle traveled into the eastbound lane, directly into the path of McArren's vehicle, according to a CHP news release.

By Bill Lindelof
blindleof@sacbee.com

The driver of a big-rig truck who was hit and killed when he stopped to assist at an accident on Interstate 80 near Blue Canyon was identified today by the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

William Gonzales, 54, of Sacramento died Thursday when he was struck by another vehicle that slid off an icy Interstate 80.

Officer Todd Kettwig of the California Highway Patrol said the driver of a Jeep Cherokee was eastbound on Interstate 80 just west of Blue Canyon about 6:50 a.m. when he encountered ice and lost control of the vehicle.

rick cooley.JPGBy Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A Sacramento man who carjacked and kidnapped a woman near Roseville in 2009 has been sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison, according to a Placer County District Attorney release.

Rick Anthony Cooley (left), 32, a "three-strikes" law offender, pleaded no contest on Feb. 17 to a felony charge of kidnapping during a carjacking, the release states. Cooley also admitted to allegations that he had committed three serious or violent felonies for which he served prison sentences, the release states.

The carjacking and kidnapping occurred Nov. 12, 2009, according to the release, which gives this description of the crime:

Lemas.jpg Moman.jpgBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 32-year-old man has been sentenced to two years in prison in connection with an incident in July in which several shots were fired into the air from a moving vehicle in front of a Cal Fire station in Foresthill.

Joshua Trinidad Lemas (left), of Foresthill was sentenced last week by Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis after pleading no contest on Feb. 9 to a felony count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and to a misdemeanor count of brandishing a firearm.

The incident occurred about 2:40 p.m. July 27 on Foresthill Road when a Dodge Challenger was driven past the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection station and shots rang out.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The driver of a big-rig truck who stopped to assist at an accident scene near Blue Canyon died this morning when he was struck by another vehicle that slid off an icy Interstate 80.

Officer Todd Kettwig of the California Highway Patrol said the driver of a Jeep Cherokee was eastbound on Interstate 80 just west of Blue Canyon about 6:50 a.m. when he encountered ice and lost control of the vehicle.

The Jeep slid across the highway and down the northern embankment at the highway median.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An Auburn man arrested last week on suspicion of cashing and attempting to cash fraudulent checks is now also accused of manufacturing checks and impersonating company employees.

Auburn police detectives arrested Jerod Williams, 24, Friday on suspicion of cashing and attempting to cash fraudulent checks at the Cash Club in Auburn. They also received reports that Williams was impersonating a Wave Broadband employee to obtain goods and services.

Williams, who remains in the Placer County Jail, is also accused of manufacturing checks purported to be for a company in New Jersey.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Lincoln Police Department has released enhanced security-camera photos (see below) of a jewelry store burglary and seeks the public's help in identifying the suspects.

Lincoln Jewelers, at 395 South Highway 65, was burglarized shortly before midnight March 9 by two individuals wearing gloves and dressed in hooded sweatshirts to hide their faces.

The thieves smashed the front window and used a hammer to demolish the glass on merchandise cases, then used plastic trash cans they brought with them to load the valuables.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Sierra college student, who was found guilty of attempted murder for a stabbing on campus, has been sentenced to 11 years in state prison.

Paul Thomas Heintz, 23, was sentenced Friday by a Placer County Superior Court Judge. He had been found guilty Sept. 30 for the stabbing of a former friend in a fit of rage.

Heintz was angry because his friend, Alex Abrahamian, had struck up a relationship with a woman who Heintz had twice dated. On March, 24, 2009, Abrahamian, who was on spring break from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, came onto the campus of Sierra College in Rocklin to see old friends, including the woman.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

The U.S. Secret Service is assisting Auburn police in investigating what appears to be a check and currency counterfeiting operation.

The investigation began after Auburn police arrested Jerod Williams, 24, on suspicion of passing fraudulent checks.

Police arrested him Friday at his home.


By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Quick-hitting burglars, who loaded at least $50,000 in rings, watches and necklaces into trash cans, have dealt a blow to a Lincoln family-owned jewelry business.

But the matriarch of the family said they will continue to work hard despite the break-in and the difficult economic times.

"This can't stop us," said store co-owner Debbie Rhodes. "We are just grateful for the family we have, the support we have."

By Denny Walsh and Sam Stanton
dwalsh@sacbee.com


Alexander Piggee pleaded guilty today to setting the massive Oct. 21 arson blaze at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville and likely will face 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 24.

The 24-year-old Sacramento man pleaded guilty to two arson counts in U.S. District Court in Sacramento this morning, one involving the $55 million Galleria blaze and the other for a minor fire he set at a North Highlands Walmart earlier that day.

Piggee could have faced up to 20 years in prison on each count, but federal prosecutors say they plan to ask that he be sentenced to two five-year terms to be served consecutively. Piggee also has agreed to plead guilty in Sacramento Superior Court to setting a blaze that damaged his grandmother's Oak Park home in the weeks before the Galleria fire. The District Attorney's office has agreed to recommend that any sentence he receive in that case be served concurrently with his federal time.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Three businesses were burglarized overnight in Rocklin on Sunset Boulevard, police reported.

The burglaries were reported at 2164, 2221 and 2600 Sunset Blvd. In each of the break-ins, someone shattered the front glass of a business and entered to steal.

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police arrested today 20-year-old Jackson Robert Gall of Roseville on suspicion of shooting his roommate.

A Roseville police officer stopped a speeding vehicle on Sunrise Avenue near Kensington Drive at 5:06 a.m. today and found that one of the passengers, Nicholas Hammer, 22, had a gunshot wound in his neck, according to a Police Department news release.

The officer called for emergency medical responders and Hammer was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition this afternoon.

Q: What happened to Martin Jennings of Roseville? - BMF, Sacramento

A: A Placer Superior Court judge sentenced Martin F. Jennings III to spend seven years in prison on Jan. 28, 1994, for causing the drunken-driving death of a Rocklin man, the Placer County District Attorney's Office told The Bee and published reports show.

Jennings, then 22, of Granite Bay was convicted by a jury of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in the death of Derrick Wasson, who was killed Nov. 22, 1991. The jury acquitted Jennings of a second-degree murder charge, The Bee reported.

Wasson was a passenger in a car that smashed into an oak tree at 80 mph on a Granite Bay road. Jennings, whose blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit, was the driver.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police are searching for a man who accosted a teenage girl outside a school gymnasium Wednesday evening.

About 7:15 p.m., a 14-year-old girl was at a club volleyball practice in the gym at Eich Intermediate School on Sierra Gardens Drive.

She stepped outside to cool off, and a stranger approached her, grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her away from the gym doors, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.

clip_image002.jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Roseville gang member has been sentenced to 36 years to life in state prison by a Placer County judge who noted the defendant had spent nearly 80 percent of his adult life in custody.

Jose Vincent Rubal Jr. (left), 39, received the sentence Tuesday after Superior Court Judge Jeff Penney denied his motion to dismiss prior serious offenses in hopes of getting a lighter prison term. Rubal is a "three-strikes" offender. (California's three-strikes law allows harsher sentences for repeat felons.)

At least two of his prior crimes involved assaults with a knife. The judge figured that Rubal has spent 6,350 days of his adult life in custody, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney's office.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Roseville man has pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing and receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In entering the plea, Thomas Neal, 41, admitted that in February of last year, he possessed a computer hard drive and several computer disks that contained more than 800 still images and more than 200 videos, each depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit activity, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. In addition, Neal admitted that on or about June 30, 2009, he downloaded from the Internet a video depicting a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

According to court documents, many of the images and videos Neal possessed depicted known and previously identified children whose abuse images were produced outside California.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A joint SWAT team from the Rocklin and Roseville police departments served a search warrant at a Rocklin home today after receiving a report that a 15-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by one of the residents at the house over the weekend.

The SWAT team was used to serve the warrant at the home in the 1800 block of Sorrell Circle because the victim had reported seeing a gun at the time of the assault, according to a Rocklin Police Department news release.

Neighbors immediately next door to the residence were asked to leave their home as a precaution, and other neighbors were asked to stay indoors until the suspect was found and arrested.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

warkentin.jpgAuburn police used Tasers on a woman who they say refused to put down a knife.

Police were asked to respond to the Holiday Inn on the Grass Valley Highway at 2 p.m. Saturday. Hotel staff complained that a woman was angry after she was locked out of her room for not paying her entire bill.

While officers were en route, hotel staff again called the police department and reported that the same customer had a knife. Upon arrival, officers approached Jelissa Warkentin, 24, from opposite directions as she exited an elevator.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

Slashed tires were discovered early today on approximately 20 vehicles in the Sandhill Drive area of Rocklin.

Police officers responded to a call at 7:15 a.m. and encountered the handiwork of a vandal or vandals.

Each tire had a cut mark "consistent with a blade-type puncture," according to a Rocklin Police Department news release. It said the vehicles were parked on the street or in the victims' driveways. An investigation is under way, but no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information related to these crimes is asked to phone the department at (916) 625-5400.

Call The Bee's Denny Walsh, (916) 321-1189.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Sacramento Police Sgt. John Castiglia pleaded "no contest" to one count of petty theft at a scheduled county appearance today, according to the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Castiglia had previously pleaded not guilty.

He was cited in May on suspicion of stealing razors and deodorant from a WinCo store in Roseville.

He was sentenced to one year of probation, the DA's Office said.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Auburn Police Department is seeking the public's help to identify a man wanted for theft and vandalism at local gas stations earlier this month.

On Feb. 10 the suspect stole more than 200 gallons of premium grade gasoline from an Auburn gas station in the early morning hours. The station was closed, but the man's actions were caught on a surveillance camera.

On Feb. 12, the Police Department received a report of vandalism at another nearby gas station. In this case, the suspect damaged the fuel pumps by prying open a panel on one of the pumps, according to a Police Department news release.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Placer County sheriff's deputy was injured this morning in a traffic collision near Auburn.

The deputy was riding his personal Yamaha motorcycle westbound on Bell Road west of Blue Oaks Drive, when an 83-year-old man driving a green Subaru wagon exited a private parking lot on the north side of Bell Road. The driver of the Subaru made a left turn across the westbound lanes of Bell Road directly in front of the motorcycle, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

The motorcyclist swerved in an attempt to avoid the Subaru but collided with the left corner of the vehicle. The motorcyclist was ejected and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken by air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

rick cooley.JPGBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Sacramento man faces up to 30 years to life in prison after pleading no contest to kidnapping a woman in a 2009 Roseville-area carjacking incident.

Rick Anthony Cooley, 32, a three-strike offender, entered the plea of no contest to a felony count of kidnapping during the commission of a carjacking, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

In an appearance Thursday in a Placer County courtroom, he also admitted to special allegations that he had committed prior serious or violent felonies for which he served prison time, the release states.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A woman who pretended to be a licensed vocational nurse has been sentenced to nine months in Placer County Jail and ordered to pay back $240,000 to an 85-year-old Foresthill man whom she defrauded over a period of years.

Debra Leigh Kelly, 55, of Foresthill was sentenced Wednesday by Placer County Superior Court Judge Frances Kearney after pleading guilty to a felony count of theft or embezzlement from an elder. Judge Kearney also placed Kelly on four years probation.

Kelly had also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of impersonating a licensed vocational nurse and practicing a trade without a valid license, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An 84-year-old Auburn man died this afternoon in a collision on Highway 49 north of Auburn.

California Highway Patrol Officer Dave Martinez said Roy Inman was driving a Chevrolet pickup and was pulling out of China Lane onto Highway 49 shortly before 3 p.m.

Martinez said Inman pulled into the path of northbound sedan driven by a 49-year-old Auburn woman. Her vehicle struck the driver's side of Inman's truck.

padilla_andrew_lee.jpeg gentry_cory_james.jpeg By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Alert neighbors are credited for a quick police response and arrest of two suspects in several home burglaries Wednesday afternoon in Roseville.

The search began about 1:45 p.m. when a resident of the 1300 block of Greenborough Drive reported that a young man knocked on his door and asked for a person who had never lived at the house.

The resident saw a silver compact sedan pull up, and the man got a backpack from the driver and started walking around the neighborhood, the release states.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The U.S. Postal Service is warning customers in rural Placer County that someone has exploded dry-ice bombs in mail boxes.

The bombs exploded Wednesday in two mail boxes in a rural area of Sheridan, which is north of Lincoln near Wheatland.

A third dry-ice fueled bomb was also placed in a mail box.

By Bill Enfield

benfield@sacbee.com

A Placer County man who left his dying wife bleeding and nude outside their home overnight is due a parole hearing later this month.

Layne Kenneth Bakken, now 65, is serving a 15 years to life sentence he received on July 9, 1995, for the second-degree murder of Katherine Bakken, 28.

Testimony at his trial showed that Katherine Bakken died of head injuries after being left outside overnight, nude and bleeding, on a concrete walkway outside the couple's home in Weimar.

DoyleDouglas.jpgBy Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A Truckee man with a long criminal history, including manslaughter, has been sent to prison under the state's "three-strikes" law.

Douglas Harold Doyle (left), 51, whose past crimes including an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter conviction in which a Tahoe City schoolteacher was killed, was sent to prison for 25 years to life, according to a news release from the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of drunk driving and was sentenced Feb. 2 by Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

LinnRyan.jpgRocklin Police says the young man who scared the life out of his neighbors Sunday with a homemade explosive was an unskilled amateur chemist, but not a terrorist.

"It's our opinion -- at this time -- it's really a kid screwing around to a higher magnitude than we are used to," said Lt. Terry Roide.

Ryan William Linn, 25, of Rocklin, is being held in the Placer County's jail without bail as a result of the Feb. 13 explosion.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Roseville police have released the name of the 16-month-old girl found dead in her Hearthside Way home Friday.

The child has been identified as Isabella Michelle Heredia.

Police and fire crews went to the child's home Friday morning, responding to reports that she was not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

Auburn police have arrested a man wanted in connection with a September home invasion after Roseville police jailed the man on other charges.

Roseville police arrested Kenneth Amick, 45, on suspicion of stealing water backflow devices.

Amick, who was already wanted by Auburn police, was interviewed by Auburn detectives in Placer County Jail and rebooked on suspicion of burglary, battery with serious bodily injury and conspiracy.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police are investigating the death of an 16-month-old girl this morning.

Police Department spokeswoman DeeDee Gunther said police and firefighters responded to a home in the 2600 block of Hearthside Way at 11:12 a.m. after receiving a report of a child who was unresponsive and not breathing.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene. Gunther said there were no obvious signs of what happened and detectives are investigating to determine the cause of death.

An autopsy will be performed by the Placer County Coroner's Office.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

null Bee photo: Firefighters respond to the Roseville Galleria blaze on Oct. 21 of last year.


Bee staff

Alexander Piggee was arraigned today in U.S. District Court on two counts of arson stemming from the Oct. 21 fire that burned part of the Westfield Galleria in Roseville and a minor fire at a North Highlands Walmart.

Through his attorney, Johnny Griffin III, Piggee entered a plea of not guilty.

He is being detained without bail in federal custody. He was being held in the Placer County jail on charges related to the Galleria fire, but those charges were dismissed Tuesday after the case was moved to federal jurisdiction.

Piggee is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez on March 8.

Photo Gallery: Westfield Galleria in Roseville

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The defense attorney for the suspect in October's arson at the Roseville Galleria said he was taken aback by a Placer County prosecutor's statement in court today that his client is "mentally competent," but he is not concerned that the information has been made public.

Attorney Johnny L. Griffin III said he had sent another member of his staff to Tuesday's court session at which the Placer County District Attorney's Office was to request dismissal of the Superior Court charges in order to transfer the case to federal court.

During the dismissal proceedings, Deputy District Attorney David Broady stated that defendant Alexander Piggee's medical report concluded that he was mentally competent.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A man died this morning when the motorcycle he was driving left a Placer County roadway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Few details of the crash were initially available. The motorcycle apparently drove off Sierra College Boulevard just south of Highway 193 about 10:45 a.m.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Placer County man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing brass plumbing devices for their recycling value.

Roseville police said that Kenneth Elliot Amick, 45, who has no permanent address, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft. Police said there has been a spate of thefts of the expensive backflow devices.

Detectives were conducting surveillance when they saw a person they said was Amick tampering with a water backflow device on Springview Drive in Rocklin. Amick was arrested and police said they collected evidence linking him to thefts of the devices in the Sierra College Boulevard, Miner's Ravine and Olympus Pointe areas.

Junkins.jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two people have been arrested in connection with church vandalism that included the destruction of a set for a children's Christmas play.

Burglars caused thousands of dollars of damage and destroyed a set for an upcoming children's Christmas play at New Hope Lutheran Church in Foresthill, Placer County, on Dec. 13.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Roseville officials announced Monday that Sacramento police captain Daniel Hahn will be the city's next police chief.

Hahn was seen as a rising star within the Sacramento Police Department, where he worked for 23 years.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The man arrested on suspicion of arson in the two October fires, including one that caused more than $55 million in damage to the Roseville Galleria, has been federally charged with arson.

Charges filed in Placer County will be dismissed, the U.S. attorney in Sacramento said.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned an indictment charging Alexander Piggee, 23, of Sacramento with two counts of arson for causing fires that damaged the Westfield Galleria Mall in Roseville and a Wal-Mart store on Antelope Road in Sacramento County. Both fires occurred Oct. 21.

RP SHOOTING PC OFFICE STEPS.JPG

Photo caption: Placerville Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch answers questions about during a press outside the district office in Placerville. Photo by Randy Pench.

By Peter Hecht, Bill Lindelof, Carlos Alcala and Cathy Locke
phecht@sacbee.com

A disagreement between the custodian and principal over a hiring panel that had met the previous day may have led to shooting of Louisiana Schnell Elementary School principal Sam LaCara Wednesday.

Placerville Police said custodian John Luebbers told investigators that he went home to get a gun after being fired by LaCara. But Placerville Union School District Superintendent Nancy Lynch said during a news conference this afternoon that Luebbers had not been fired, but rather instructed by LaCara to go home and cool off.

"He was upset about a disagreement," Lynch said of Luebbers. "It was a personnel issue, but he was an employee of the district."

espinoza.JPGBy Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

A woman walking home with a couple of pizzas was attacked, Auburn police said today. A Grass Valley man was booked into jail on suspicion of swiping one of the pizzas.

Police gave this account:

A woman called police to say that about 1:30 a.m. Saturday she was walking from Pistol Pete's bar, 140 Harrison Avenue, to her home with two pizzas when a car pulled alongside.

The passenger of the car got out and knocked one pizza from her hands.

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com

Bankrupt Roseville developer Abe Alizadeh, accused of stealing state tax dollars, has been released on bail from the Placer County jail.

His release Wednesday came two weeks after he was arrested, according to jail records. Bail had been set at $1 million.

He is scheduled to appear in Placer County Superior Court on Feb. 28 to enter a plea.

Q: What is the status of Douglas Scott Mickey who killed two people in Placer County? - T.G., Newcastle

A: Douglas Mickey, now 62, is on death row at San Quentin State Prison, where he has been since September 1983, records show.

Mickey received the death sentence for the September 1980 murders of two Placer County residents - Eric Hanson, 29, and Catherine Blount, 19, The Bee reported.

The two were killed in their rural home off Wise Road in Ophir.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Lopez.jpg

A man who Auburn police say was on Placer County's "20 most wanted" list has been arrested in connection with a collision between a quad runner and a Union Pacific train.

About noon Jan. 22, police were dispatched to the area of a train trestle over Interstate 80 regarding a report that a train had hit a person riding a quad runner, according to an Auburn Police Department news release. The quad rider left the area before police arrived and was not located.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 19-year-old Sacramento County man is facing a prison sentence after being convicted for trying to run over a Roseville police officer with his car after undercover officers closed in on him during a drug bust.

A Placer County jury on Jan. 26 found Walter Carrillo guilty of felony assault on a peace officer for trying to strike the officer with his vehicle as Carrillo tried to flee from a parking lot at Main Street and Foothills Boulevard in Roseville the night of March 6, 2009. The officer, who was not in a car, managed to dive out of the way and suffered injuries when he landed on the ground, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

The jury also found Carrillo guilty of assault on a citizen because he struck a vehicle being driven by a woman as he tried to speed away from officers. The woman suffered injuries as a result, officials said.

By Bill Lindelof and Sam Stanton
blindelof@sacbee.com

Joseph Kidd.JPG
Suspect Joseph Kidd, above
real.jpg
Larry Smith

Deputies hope that the arrest of Joseph Kidd on Tuesday has put to rest a nightmare of identity theft for a Florida man.

Kidd, 56, a homeless Auburn man, was arrested by Placer County Sheriff's deputies on suspicion of identity theft, welfare fraud and grand theft.

Deputies allege that for 17 years Kidd has told people he was Larry Smith of Florida. During that time, Smith has been trying to clear his name.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Placer Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols declared a mistrial Tuesday morning in the case of a sheriff's deputy accused of firing shots into the air in 2009 after a jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked and couldn't reach a unanimous verdict. NIchols then dismissed the case, meaning it cannot be refiled.

Jury Foreman Chris Randolph said final vote was: 9 not guilty; 2 guilty; and 1 undecided.

He said the jury ultimately discounted the testimony of a key prosecution witness, a woman, then 18, who claimed to have seen Placer Sheriff's Lt. John Savage firing a gun as he stood in the driveway of this then Rocklin home. (An earlier version of this story didn't accurately characterize her testimony.)

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Roseville man has been arraigned in Placer County Superior Court on suspicion of insurance fraud, according to California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Investigators said they suspect the man was trying to avoid a $400 monthly car payment.

A news release from Jones stated Anthony Molina, 24, allegedly pushed his car off a cliff in Placer County and then reported it stolen July 27 to his insurance company and police.

A search warrant for cell phone records confirmed a call was made from Molina's cell phone to his girlfriend and that the call was placed in the Blue Canyon area where his car was later found, the press release stated.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An anonymous tip to Placer County Crime Stoppers has led to the arrest of two Lincoln men in connection with more than $100,000 in damage to the Manzanita Cemetery near Lincoln in November.

The Placer County Sheriff's Department said that Cody Lee Piland (left below) and Steven Robert Warn III (right below), both 19, have been arrested and are cooperating with detectives in the ongoing investigation of a crime spree in major damages to the cemetery.

An estimated 100 to 150 headstones, some more than 100 years old, were overturned, pulled out of the ground or broken into pieces. The vandalism occurred between Nov. 12 and 14.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A suspected drunken driver allegedly rammed an Auburn police car twice after he nearly entered the freeway in the wrong direction.

Police said that about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, a man driving an older Chevrolet pickup northwest on Lincoln Way in Old Town Auburn failed to stop at a stop sign at Maple Street. At that point, the driver turned west onto the eastbound Interstate 80 offramp.

Auburn Police Sgt. Dale Hutchins said he observed the driver's actions and activated his emergency lights. The officer also positioned his vehicle behind the pickup as the man made a U-turn on the onramp.

suspect 211 chevron jan 2011.JPGBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Placer County Sheriff's Department has announced a reward for information leading to the arrest of an armed man who robbed an Auburn-area gas station early Tuesday and also bound the hands of a newspaper delivery woman who interrupted the robbery.

Sheriff's officials said a surveillance photo (left) of the suspect obtained today shows a white man, 18 to 25 years old, as he exits the Chevron station at 13381 Lincoln Way.

He was wearing a striped beanie over shoulder-length hair, and was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing a red T-shirt and black camouflage jacket.

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

One of two Roseville men was sentenced Thursday in federal court to three years and a month in prison for his part in stealing nearly $200,000 in life insurance proceeds from a dead Marine's grieving mother.

Robert Brogan, 63, pleaded guilty last February to a money-laundering conspiracy in connection with the theft.

Brogan's nephew, Raymond Brogan, 43, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April 2009 and was sentenced the next October to two years and nine months in prison.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Placer County Fire Department have scheduled a structure fire training exercise for Saturday.

Firefighters will burn a vacant house at 1450 Virginiatown Road, east of Lincoln. Officials say smoke may be visible in the Lincoln basin throughout the day.

The house was donated by the property owners to use for a live fire training exercise and has met all Air Pollution Control District guidelines, according to a Cal Fire news release.

The training is intended to allow firefighters to experience structural firefighting tactics in a controlled environment.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police have arrested four more suspects in connection with a burglary Monday afternoon the city's Cirby Ranch neighborhood.

Two juveniles were arrested Monday when they were confronted by a police officer responding to a neighbor's report of a burglary in progress in the 1300 block of Stoneridge Way in east Roseville.

Tuesday evening, Roseville police detectives went to Fair Oaks and arrested four suspects. The boys, Fair Oaks residents ages 16 to 17, were taken to Placer County Juvenile Hall for booking.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Auburn Police Department is urging residents to take precautions to prevent vehicle theft and tampering, citing a recent increase in such incidents.

So far this month, officers have investigated the theft of six vehicles, three of which were late 1980s or early 1990s Toyotas, according to a Police Department news release. They also report several cases in which catalytic converters were stolen, also from late 1980s and early 1990s Toyotas.

In addition, police say vehicle burglary, or theft from parked vehicles, is an ongoing problem in the city.

To help combat these types of crime, police urge the public to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods or near businesses by calling the department's non-emergency line at (530) 823-4234. They also recommend that people lock their vehicles, use vehicle security alarms and avoid leaving valuables in plain sight in vehicles.

Police are offering to participate with Neighborhood Watch programs in crime prevention efforts and to assist residents in establishing new Neighborhood Watch programs.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An autopsy will be conducted on a woman who died after hitting a ski lift tower when she was using a snowboard as a sled.

Rahsheka Keith, 22, of Oakland died Saturday after the accident at Granlibakken Resort near Tahoe City in the Sierra Nevada. An autopsy will be conducted this week but it is expected that blunt force trauma will be the cause of death, according to a Placer County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The spokesman said that Keith was sitting on a snowboard and was going downhill when she got turned around and went into a lift tower, the spokesman said. It is not known if she was wearing a helmet.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville Police credit an alert neighbor for the arrest this afternoon of two burglary suspects in the city's Cirby Ranch area.

At 1:38 p.m., a resident called police to report four boys climbing over a neighbor's fence in the 1300 block of Stoneridge Way in east Roseville. One of the juveniles was seen carrying a baseball bat, according to a Police Department news release.

The first officer on scene confronted four teenagers leaving the house and detained one of them. A neighbor detained a second suspect. Both were taken to Placer County Juvenile Hall for booking on burglary charges.

By Cathy Locke and Bill Lindelof
clocke@sacbee.com

A 10-year-old boy who had been reported missing after he failed to report to his elementary school class today has been found in west Roseville.

Cade Knight, 10, was dropped off at Coyote Ridge Elementary School on Morningstar Drive in west Roseville this morning by his parents. But Roseville police said he never reported to class, leading police to undertake a search of the neighborhood around the school.

A Roseville Police Department spokeswoman said no details were immediately available on why the boy did not show up for class or where he had been during the day.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Ilia_Arthur_Wong.jpegBy Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

An off-duty Sacramento Police Officer who suffered major injuries after being hit by a suspected drunken driver in Roseville remains hospitalized in intensive care today after undergoing surgery Saturday night, a police spokeswoman said.

Officer Bobby Daniels, 47, is "doing better" a day after he was struck by a motorist who drove his sport utility vehicle onto the sidewalk in front of a Chili's Restaurant shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday, Sacramento Police spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck said.

Peck said additional details are not available.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A drug and gang investigation by the Roseville Police Department's Crime Suppression Unit led to the seizure of illegal weapons and two arrests, following the Thursday search of a Lincoln home.

ericsmith.jpgMulhern, Jennifer Anne.jpg

Law enforcement officers served search warrants in the 800 block of Turner Place, then at a self storage unit in the 100 block of Joiner Parkway in Lincoln. Roseville's Crime Suppression Unit obtained search warrants in connection with the investigation of the residents for drug crimes and involvement in the Vagos motorcycle gang, according to a Police Department news release.

Officials said officers seized drugs and firearms, including eight military-style assault rifles, three grenades and several thousand rounds of ammunition from the two locations.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A spot to get fix-it tickets signed off and perform other police-related matters opens Tuesday in Roseville.

The city's first Police Community Resource Center will be open between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in the Martha Riley Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Blvd. Citizen volunteers will help with a range of services:

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Roseville Police Department has released surveillance video of a recent robbery in the hope that someone will come forward to identify the suspect.

A fast-food restaurant in the 800 block of Sunrise Avenue was robbed shortly before 6 p.m. Jan. 13. The robber pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded money from the cash register, according to a Police Department news release. He then took the money and left, getting into the passenger side of a waiting vehicle. As the vehicle left, he fired a shot toward the business, police said. No injuries were reported.

The man who robbed the restaurant is described as white or Latino, 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing 120 to 150 pounds. He wore a black rimmed ball cap, a black or dark blue patterned bandana over his face, a black hooded jacket and blue jeans. The driver of the vehicle, a compact four-door sedan, was described only as a white man in his 20s.

DelpMarlene.jpgBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A registered nurse who was in charge of health care at an assisted living facility has been sentenced to 10 months in Placer County Jail and placed on three years probation for stealing prescribed medication from her elderly patients.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Frances Kearney on Wednesday also gave Marlene Delp (left), 64, a three-year suspended prison sentence and banned her from providing health care to anyone during the three years on probation.

Several grown children of the elderly victims spoke to the court about the negative impact that Delp's crime had on their mothers, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

drug test pic for press release (2).jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Placer County parents can buy drug and alcohol screening tests (left) at a cut-rate price as part of an effort by the deputy sheriff's union to stem substance abuse.

The tests are available at local high schools and sheriff's offices. The 10-panel drug tests cost $10, a discounted price compared to $40 at some pharmacies. Alcohol screening tests are $2.

Drug tests will give results for the use of amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, opiates, PCP, marijuana, ecstasy, methadone, barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Luis Alberto Alaniz.JPGBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An observant citizen's report to police has resulted in the arrest of two men suspected of parking lot car break-ins.

Luis Alberto Alaniz, 21, and Steven Robert Bustamante, 23, both of Sacramento, were arrested last week on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal gang participation. Police suspect that the men were in a tan, four-door sedan that was cruising the parking lot in the 300 block of North Sunrise Avenue last Thursday.

A citizen said the men in the car were also looking into the windows of parked cars. Roseville police officers found Alaniz, left, and Bustamante, right, in parking lot nearby.

By Kim Minugh and Carlos Alcalá

kminugh@sacbee.com

A 68-year-old man who apparently lost control of his vehicle and crashed head-on into a sports utility vehicle in Roseville this afternoon has died, according to authorities.

Roseville police suspect that Cecil Alvin Feathers suffered a medical issue while driving westbound on Douglas Boulevard shortly after noon, causing him to lose control of his Toyota sedan, according to spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.

The collision, in which two others were injured, closed down busy Douglas Boulevard for most of the day.

Gunther said Feathers crossed into eastbound lanes and struck a Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by a 34-year-old Sacramento man who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The man's 3-year-old son was taken to UC Davis Medical Center - the region's pediatric trauma center - and was treated and released.

Gunther noted that the boy was properly secured in a car seat in the backseat.

Feathers was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he later died.

Douglas Boulevard was closed between Rocky Ridge and Eureka Road from the time of the collision to this evening.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com
Sutkowski.jpg
One person has been arrested and another is sought in connection with a robbery Thursday at the Enterprise Rent-a-Car office on Grass Valley Highway in Auburn.

Police said an employee was robbed by a man who brandished a knife and demanded cash. The employee complied and the robber left with an undisclosed amount of money.

The suspect was described as black, in his late teens or early 20s, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slim build, clean shaven and with short hair. He was wearing grey sweat pants, a black hooded sweatshirt and gloves, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A rash of home burglaries, thefts and vandalism in east Roseville the past two weeks has Roseville police on alert.

In one burglary Tuesday morning in the 1100 block of Gerry Way, a resident came home to see a man running out the rear door of her garage with CDs he took from a vehicle, police said.

Police unsuccessfully searched a nearby creek for the man. The man was described as in his late 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, possibly with blond hair.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

parish harold gene.jpgAn Orangevale man was arrested on suspicion of stealing golf clubs from a Granite Bay garage.

Harold Gene Parish, 27, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property following thefts from two garages in Granite Bay, Placer County deputies said today.

In the burglaries, someone stole golf clubs, computers and other items.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

wright.JPGFormer Sacramento Kings basketball player Antoine Wright was sentenced today to three years of informal probation for a Nov. 5 drunken driving arrest in Rocklin. (Photo at left is courtesy of the Placer County Sheriff's Department.)

Wright, 26, who was not present at the sentencing, was also given a 15-day jail sentence by Placer County Superior Curt Judge Alan Pineschi. The judge said Wright could apply for sentencing such as a work project or home detention, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release. Pineschi also imposed a $450 fine.

Wright's attorney, William Portanova, entered a plea of no contest for his client to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A retired state employee today will again thank the CHP helicopter crew that found him after he became lost last summer in mountainous back country of Placer County.

Jim Clevenger, former division chief in the Secretary of State's office, was hiking with friends July 3 at Sailor Bar in Placer County when he became separated from his group. Hiking alone, he became disoriented and lost.

With a bum leg and dehydrated, he was unable to continue. He was stuck in a remote part of New York Canyon.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

purse susp2 rsvl belair.JPGThe Placer County Sheriff's Department has released new surveillance photos (left and below) of a man wanted in connection with purse thefts from grocery carts.

Sheriff's officials said today that the number of reported thefts in which the suspect is believed to have been involved has risen to six.

Deputies began investigating the series of purse thefts that occurred while shoppers were selecting merchandise from grocery store shelves. The victims had placed their purses in shopping carts and the man is seen on video walking by and taking purses while the victim's back was turned.

Detectives reviewed the video and determined that the same suspect was responsible for all six of the incidents.

According to a Sheriff's Department news release, video shows the same man stealing purses at the Bel Air store in Roseville Nov. 14, the Safeway in Rocklin on Dec. 28, and the Raley's, Bel Air, Safeway and Save Mart in Auburn on Dec. 30.

The man is described as black, in his 20s, with a shaved head. He is reported to be between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a muscular build.

Anyone with information about his identity is asked to call Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

purse susp rsvl belair.JPG1.JPG

estes kyle lorence.jpgBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 20-year-old man was arrested Monday afternoon at a north Auburn bank as he attempted to cash a check that had been stolen from a woman he recently befriended, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Office.

U.S. Bank officials called the Sheriff's Office when Kyle L. Estes (mugshot at left) of Auburn and a female companion were still inside the bank attempting to cash a $550 check. The victim had been in the bank 20 minutes earlier to report recent unauthorized activity on her account, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Estes, who was wanted on two warrants, was arrested on suspicion of numerous felonies, including burglary, identity theft, possession of stolen property and forgery. The woman with him at the bank, Crystal Welty, 31, was questioned, but investigators determined that she was not involved in the crime. However, Welty was arrested for an outstanding petty theft warrant. She was booked at Placer County Jail and released today.

Estes is being held on $70,000 bail.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The Rocklin Police Department said Tuesday in light of a complaint about police conduct, it has initiated an internal affairs investigation into a New Year's Eve arrest of a Citrus Heights man.

Two officers used a stun gun and a baton as they attempted to subdue and arrest a party attendee who they allege pushed a woman at a New Year's event at the Rocklin Mercedes dealership, said Lt. Lon Milka, a spokesman for the department.

After the several minutes-long struggle, John Banks Jr, 41, was charged with domestic violence and resisting arrest, Milka said. He was booked into Placer County jail and released.

As two male officers tried to handcuff Banks, one of the officers used a Taser. It was ineffective, Milka said. The four club strikes were "distraction strikes" -- blows to a fatty area of the body meant to distract the suspect long enough for cops to apply the handcuffs, Milka said.

"Each time (the officer) instructed him to put his arms behind his back," Milka said.

The officers were on the scene to assist the fire department with a faulty elevator when they observed Banks push a woman. The officers said he was not cooperative when they attempted to speak to him.

The whole scene can be viewed on Youtube at: http://ht.ly/3xCdv

Banks could not speak about the situation Tuesday because he was meeting with an attorney.

Milka said he did not have the identity of the complaining party, but that in accordance with California law an internal affairs investigation is underway. He said a lower level force application review had already begun because a weapon was used.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police are asking citizens for any information related to six thefts of brass plumbing equipment.

Under the cover of darkness, thieves cut water pipes and made off with expensive brass water backflow prevention devices in December. One of the thefts occurred at a senior citizen facility, requiring staff to carry water to the affected building until the damage could be repaired and water service restored.

The thefts occurred between Dec. 17 and Dec. 30 on Commerce Drive, Cirby Way, Conroy Lane, Oak Ridge Drive and Douglas Boulevard. Anyone with information is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7876.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

purse theft suspect2.JPGpurse theft suspect1.JPGThe Placer County Sheriff's Department seeks the public's help identifying a man caught on video stealing women's purses from grocery carts in Auburn.

Deputies last week began investigating a series of purse thefts that occurred while shoppers were selecting merchandise from grocery store shelves. The victims had placed their purses in shopping carts, and the man is seen on video walking by and taking the purses while the victim's back was turned.

After reviewing video, detectives determined that the same person is responsible for two of the incidents and investigators are reviewing a third video, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The suspect is described as an African-American man in his 20s, 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with a muscular build and a shaved head. He was wearing a long white T-shirt with black pants.

Anyone with information on the man's identity is asked to call Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855.

Sheriff's officials encourage shoppers not to leave purses unattended in shopping carts.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

The search for a missing snowboarder near the Alpine Meadows Ski Resort came to a tragic conclusion this morning when rescuers found her body in a tree well, according to authorities.

Rescue helicopter crews spotted the body of 25-year-old Shawnte Marie Willis of Tahoma this morning on a part of the mountain that previously had been off-limits to rescue crews because of inclement weather, Placer County sheriff's Capt. Jeff Ausnow said in a press conference.

Authorities believe Willis might have hit a tree while snowboarding, Ausnow said. Her body was found in a tree well.

"The news is tragic," Ausnow said.

Willis went missing Tuesday afternoon. Search and rescue efforts were hampered by high winds and low visibility that prevented the use of search vehicles including helicopters and snowmobiles. Blowing snow also had covered any tracks.

Ausnow described the area, which is U.S. Forest Service land, as "treacherous," and said 80- to 100-mile an hour winds had been blowing there.

"The weather would not allow us to get there," he said.

Ground search crews were called off Wednesday because of the threat of avalanches. However, Ausnow said today there were no obvious signs of an avalanche in the area where Willis' body was found.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.


Q: What happened to the two young girls that stabbed to death an 80-year-old woman in an Auburn apartment complex in the early '80s? I heard that one girl also stabbed a prison guard. - jimbob, Auburn

A: Shirley Wolf, then 14, and Cindy Collier, then 15, were convicted of the slaying of June 14, 1983, slaying of 85-year-old Anna Brackett.

The victim died in her condominium after being stabbed 28 times with a butcher knife. The death wound was 4 inches deep, authorities said.

Wolf and Collier each received an 8-year sentence in the California Youth Authority for the killing, The Bee reported.

Wolf was still in prison until at least the late 1990s after she assaulted guards, in one case stabbing a California Youth Authority supervisor. The supervisor survived the attack. She also tried to escape by ramming a stolen prison vehicle into a prison gate.

The Bee was unable to determine the current locations of Wolf and Collier, but they are no longer in the state prison system.

In 1983, Wolf told authorities that she and Collier picked out cars they liked at an Auburn apartment complex and then knocked on doors with numbers that matched the car stalls, asking for directions, for a glass of water or to use a phone.

Brackett answered their knock and chatted with the girls for three hours.

"Saw she was an old lady. Perfect car. Just a setup. We figured we'd kill her," Wolf told sheriff's deputies. Wolf said it was her "job" to hold down Brackett and kill her while Collier ransacked the house.

"She was telling me to stop," Wolf told sheriff's deputies. "That she was dying. And I turned and I go, 'Good.'"

For a complete list of questions answered by Sacto911, click here

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

The search for a missing snowboarder will continue later this morning after rescuers in a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter Wednesday night could not find the 25-year-old Tahoma woman.

Capt. Jeff Ausnow of the Placer County Sheriff's Department said the search for Shawnte Marie Willis at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort will resume with at 7 a.m. today.

Ausnow said the helicopter, which is based at Mather Airport, used forward-looking infrared technology to try to locate Willis. The search concluded about midnight Wednesday.

He said the ground search was called off earlier Wednesday night because of the danger of avalanches. But he said about 40 volunteers on skis and snowshoes are prepared to head into the backcountry this morning. Helicopters are also scheduled to assist in the search this morning, he said.

The helicopter search was the first opportunity rescue teams have had to use air support, Ausnow said, noting that a break in the weather they had hoped for before nightfall Wednesday did not occur.

Ausnow said high winds and low visibility had prevented the use of search vehicles, including helicopters and snowmobiles, and blowing snow has covered tracks. Although the search area is relatively small, he characterized it as backcountry on U.S. Forest Service land that is not groomed for skiing.

As the search continues, Willis' family in Humboldt County is hoping for the best but is worried because she has epilepsy.

Her cousin, Don Hubbs, in Humboldt County, said that the family is optimistic that Willis is fine because she is an athlete and veteran winter sports enthusiast.

"She's a ski instructor in the Tahoe area," Hubbs said. "She has warm clothes, gloves and a helmet on. She knows all about snow, but she does have epilepsy and the stress will bring that out."

About 4 p.m. Tuesday, Placer County deputies responded to the resort near Truckee for a report of a missing snowboarder.

Deputies were told by Willis' boyfriend that she was snowboarding "off the back side" of Alpine Meadows about 1:30 p.m.

When she could not be located, deputies were called in and the search began. Searchers included skiers and snowmobile riders.

Willis was born and raised in Humboldt County. Hubbs described his cousin as someone who could keep her wits about her in a trying situation and not get discouraged.

"She's pretty spunky," Hubbs said.

He is hopeful that Willis might have used her snowboard to build a snow cave in order to survive the cold conditions overnight, waiting out the storm.

"That's what I'm thinking," he said. "She should know to dig a hole and hunker down."

The Epilepsy Foundation states on its website that the most frequent cause of an unexpected seizure is failure to take medication as prescribed.

Bee staff writer Chelsea Phua and Bee researcher Pete Basofin contributed to this report.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An Auburn woman who worked as a housekeeper for an elderly Folsom resident has been arrested on suspicion of elder abuse after allegedly fraudulently cashing the victim's check.

On Wednesday, Auburn police arrested Sharri Shifflett, 42, after following up on a report received from the Folsom Police Department.

Shifflett had been cleaning house for the Folsom woman for months when the woman was moved to a convalescent hospital because of failing health, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

While the victim was away, family members who knew that Shifflett had been the woman's housekeeper, hired her to clean the victim's unoccupied home, police said. During this time, Shifflett allegedly obtained one of the woman's checks and later cashed it at an Auburn bank, officials said. Folsom Police were contacted Dec. 16 about the check incident.

After receiving a report from Folsom Police on Tuesday, Auburn detectives began investigating the case and discovered additional evidence of Shifflett's involvement in fraudulently cashing the Folsom woman's check, police said. Detectives interviewed her and later placed her under arrest.

Shifflett was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of elder abuse, identity theft, burglary and passing/forging documents. Her bail is set at $265,000.

Police said Shifflett's position as a housekeeper potentially granted her access to clients' personal information. Police ask anyone with knowledge of similar conduct by Shifflett to call Auburn Detective Adam Cline at (530) 823-4237, ext. 238.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

miskewicz_apollo.jpgApollo the police dog tracked down a missing Alzheimer's sufferer Monday night in Roseville.

The Roseville Police Department canine was called upon about 10 p.m. when the Roseville resident in her 70s wandered from her home. Minutes after Apollo - whose partner is Officer Scott Miskewcycz (both pictured at left) - put his nose to work, the woman was found.

She was located by the dog in a neighbor's carport, not far from her residence. The woman was reunited with family.

Roseville police volunteers can provide Alzheimer's and others suffering from dementia with radio transmitter bracelets under a free program called Project Lifesavers.

In the event a person wanders away, the transmitters allow police to track them without a police dog.

For more information call (916) 746-1077.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for vandalizing and burglarizing a Foresthill church Dec. 13.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case, and Placer County Crime Stoppers is offering the award for anonymous tips.

Vandals entered the New Hope Lutheran Church where Forest Charter School students were preparing for a performance, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. The intruders destroyed property and stole numerous items. Some of the stolen items were found in a shack about 50 yards behind the school in a forested area.

Witnesses reported seeing a young man riding away from the church on a bicycle shortly after the crime was discovered.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Placer County Sheriff's Office at (530) 889-7800, or Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Placer County sheriff's detectives are looking for a robber who held two Weimar Country Store clerks at gunpoint during a robbery Monday night, claiming he needed the money for Christmas.

Although the man left the clerks bound and made off with money from the cash register, he apologized, telling them he also had been robbed and needed money for Christmas, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The man entered the store on Paoli Lane at 7:05 p.m. He approached a male clerk who was working at the back of the store and showed a handgun.

The man ordered the clerk to the front of the store, where the male clerk and a female clerk were ordered to open the cash register and dump the money into a bag.

The robber then bound the clerks' wrists and left the store on foot.

The man, whose face was covered during the robbery, was described as 20 to 25 years old, 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds, with brownish-blond hair.

Shortly after the robber left, two vehicles were seen leaving the area: a silver Toyota pickup truck, and a tan or brown Ford pickup with a red camper shell.

After the man left, the male clerk was able to free himself and call 911.

Anyone with information about the suspect or the vehicles is asked to call Detective Bill Summers at (530) 889-7843. Anyone wishing to provide information but remain anonymous may call Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191.

Individuals providing information to Crime Stoppers could be eligible for a cash reward.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

A DUI crackdown that began last week in Placer County has so far resulted in 19 arrests for driving under the influence.

The arrests from early Friday morning through midnight Monday came from special anti-DUI deployments and regular patrols, according to a news release from a task force made up of area law enforcement coordinating the effort.

In 2009, 22 DUI arrests occurred during the same four-day time period, the release states.

There were no DUI fatalities reported over the weekend in Placer County, the release states.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The effort continues through the New Year's weekend.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville Crime Stoppers and the Roseville Police Department seek the public's help in identifying two individuals who beat and robbed a man in his apartment parking lot earlier this month.

About 10:20 p.m. Dec. 6, someone knocked on the door of the man's apartment in the 400 block of Cirby Way and told him that his pickup had just been vandalized. When the man went outside to check on the truck, which had not been vandalized, he was attacked by two men who beat him and took his cell phone, according to a Police Department news release.

Police were called, and the man was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of scrapes and bruises.

The assailants were described as men in their early 20s; one was black and the other was white. Both were about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds and wearing dark-colored hooded sweatshirts and jeans. They were seen leaving in a small black car, similar to a Toyota Corolla, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers may remain anonymous, and may be eligible for a cash reward form information leading to an arrest.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Three Loomis men were arrested over the weekend, accused of residential and vehicle burglaries.

Placer County sheriff's detectives arrested Jacob Ronald Dalaney, 20, Philip Hodge, 23, and Kevin Johnson, 56. Delaney is being held on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance and needles. Hodge is accused of possessing stolen property and burglary tools, and parole violation. Johnson was arrested on suspicion of theft of a firearm.

Sheriff's officials say they found property taken from several Loomis-area homes and vehicles and are seeking the owners of power tools and a camera that may have been taken from garages and vehicles. Anyone who believes those items may have been stolen from them in the past two weeks is asked to call Detective Ryan West at (916) 652-2423.

Hodge is being held without bail. Delaney's bail is set $60,000 and Johnson's bail at $80,000.

Sheriff's officials remind residents that unlocked garages and vehicles are easy targets for criminals and urge people to keep their belongings secure.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

yolanda fryson.jpgA former Yuba County Child Protective Services worker who falsely accused a Placer County man of child molestation in an extortion attempt has been sentenced to prison.

Yolanda Perez Fryson (left), 43, of Rocklin was found guilty of extortion, forgery and fraud during a jury trial.

On Wednesday, Placer Superior Court Judge Joseph O'Flaherty, sentenced her to nine years and four months in prison, calling her extortion attempt "close to the worst crime I've seen in my 21 years on the bench."

The victim, a 40-year-old Roseville man, attended the sentencing and fought back tears as he told the court how being falsely accused of child molestation had turned his world upside down, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

The release gave this account:

The man said he spent "three days of hell" wondering what to do and kept imagining being led away in handcuffs by police or having people point to him in the false belief that he was a child molester. The man said he briefly contemplated suicide.

The man eventually told an attorney about Fryson's accusation. The attorney referred him to the Placer County Sheriff's Office, which set up a sting operation in which the victim met with Fryson in a parking lot to hand over $10,000 in exchange for dropping the alleged molestation issue.

Fryson was immediately arrested when she accepted the money.

At the time, Fryson was on administrative leave from the Yuba County Child Protective Services Office because of an arrest for a check kiting scheme, in which a person deposits worthless checks into bank accounts and quickly withdraws money before the insufficient funds can be confirmed, the release states.

During the extortion attempt on the Roseville man, Fryson, who was on leave from her job and out on bail for the check fraud charge, displayed her CPS badge, which she had previously reported lost or stolen.

Prosecutor Stephanie Macumber of the Placer County District Attorney's Office said Fryson continued to commit crimes even after the extortion and check kiting incidents. Again out on bail and attempting to get out of the check fraud charges, Fryson forged a letter absolving her of wrongdoing and signed the name of a 29-year bank employee, Macumber said.

Fryson also pressured at least two other bank employees to write letters stating that the overdrafts were bank errors and not her fault, Macumber said.

Fryson's trial on 16 felony counts took place in October. The jury on Nov. 1 returned guilty verdicts on all counts, including attempted extortion, check fraud, falsifying evidence, forgery and accepting a bribe.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Members of the Placer County Deputy's Sheriff's Association will each receive two one-time payments totaling $600 under a settlement agreement with the county.

The agreement, approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, resolves an unfair practice charge brought by the association against the county before the Public Employee Relations Board regarding contract negotiations in 2009.

Under the agreement, the county will issue two one-time payments, each in the amount of $300, to active members of the association. The payments will be made this month and in July 2011.

The association had accused the county of declaring arbitrary deadlines to conclude contract negotiations in 2009.

The settlement agreement states that both parities acknowledge that they have a mutual obligation to not declare arbitrary deadlines for concluding negotiations and to clarify their respective positions at the bargaining table.

The Board of Supervisors last month approved a new two-year contract with the association, ending a years-long standoff. The parties had last ratified an agreement in December 2006.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A key assistant to Placer County Supervisor Kirk Uhler was arrested for embezzlement Friday.

Incoming District Attorney Scott Owens told The Bee Uhler's district director, Brian Jagger, is believed to have embezzled $15,000 to $20,000 from Owens' campaign account. Jagger had served as Owens' campaign treasurer.

"Money from my campaign account was diverted to personal use," Owens said. "It's shocking and disappointing."

Owens said he referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office and that the sheriff's department was handling the investigation.

Owens had expected to be challenged in his bid to replace District Attorney Bradford R. Fenocchio, who did not seek reelection, but no opposition materialized.

Owens said he had loaned his campaign a significant sum of money. He noticed the discrepancy when attempting to return the money to his personal accounts

Jagger, who was taken into custody Friday, was active in the Placer County theater community and authored a 2010 production in which his boss, Uhler, played the lead role.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Roseville man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for selling counterfeit software.

U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. today sentenced Derick Breski, 45, to the prison term, followed by three years of supervised release for criminal copyright infringement. Breski pleaded guilty Aug. 13.

Between November 2009 and March of this year, Breski sold copyrighted software such as Adobe, Autocad, Rosetta Stone and software from Microsoft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Officials said he obtained copies of the software illegally by downloading it from file-sharing services on the Internet. He then created copies of the illegally downloaded software and sold those copies to customers.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Taylor prosecuted the case.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Matthew Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A Sacramento woman has died after a head-on collision on State Route 65 in Lincoln early this morning.

The 51-year-old woman was driving a 2000 Lexus SUV northbound on SR 65 at Sterling Parkway just before 5:15 a.m. when the SUV crossed over the center lane into the southbound lane of Highway 65, according to a Lincoln Police Department release.

The SUV crossed into the path of and collided with a 2008 Ford van being driven by a 47-year-old Lincoln man with three passengers, according to the release.

The driver of the SUV was the lone occupant of the vehicle, the release states. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her identity was not immediately available.

All four people in the van had to be extricated from the van by members of the Lincoln Fire Department, the release states. The driver and one passenger were transported to Sutter Roseville Hospital with serious injuries, it states.

The other two passengers were transported to Mercy San Juan Hospital with moderate to major injuries.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the driver of the SUV to cross the median.

Southbound lanes of Highway 65 at Sterling Parkway remain closed indefinitely while an investigation of the collision is completed.

Call The Bee's Matthew Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A judge in Auburn has put off until later this week a decision on whether to issue a gag order in the Galleria arson case, saying it may come Thursday or Friday.

The judge's decision followed an afternoon of sparring over who can see a report on the fire that was prepared by Roseville city officials.

Prosecutors seeking the gag order do not want the report released, saying it could create publicity that would make it difficult to find an unbiased jury.

Prosecutors have received two draft versions of the report and got the first one Dec. 2. In today's hearing, Roseville city spokeswoman Megan MacPherson was called to testify about its contents.

Roseville officials had planned to release the documents last week, but prosecutors sought their gag order and the matter has been tied up in court.

Placer Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis said he received prosecutors' latest 10-page filing that argues against release of the materials at noon today, and added that he had not had a chance yet to read it.

He met privately for a time this afternoon with the prosecutors and defense attorney for arson suspect Alexander Piggee, 23.

Piggee, who was in court today, is accused of setting the Oct. 21 blaze at the region's largest mall, but criminal proceedings have been suspended while his mental competency is evaluated.

A doctor's report on Piggee is expected to be completed by Jan. 21, with a hearing on it set for Feb. 8.

The Roseville fire report is expected to shed light on why the sprinkler system inside the mall was turned off during the blaze and who ordered it, but the request for the gag order has so far prevented its release.

Defense attorney Johnny Griffin III has opposed the gag order and said today that "even if the media reported all of the discovery I received I would still oppose the restraining order."

He also asked the court to provide him a copy of the report, and that matter is expected to be discussed further this afternoon.

The Bee and the First Amendment Coalition also have opposed a gag order being issued.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A court hearing in Auburn is under way on whether a gag order should be issued in the Roseville Galleria case, but no decision has been made yet.

Placer Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis met privately for a time with the prosecutors and defense attorney for arson suspect Alexander Piggee, 23, and court resumed again at about 3 p.m.

Piggee is accused of setting the Oct. 21 blaze at the region's largest mall, but criminal proceedings have been suspended while his mental competency is evaluated.

A doctor's report on Piggee is expected to be completed by Jan. 21, with a hearing on it set for Feb. 8.

Prosecutors are seeking a gag order in the case, a move that has stopped Roseville city officials from releasing a report on how authorities responded to the fire.

That report was expected to shed light on why the sprinkler system inside the mall was turned off during the blaze and who ordered it, but the request for the gag order has so far prevented its release.

Defense attorney Johnny Griffin III has opposed the gag order and said today that "even if the media reported all of the discovery I received I would still oppose the restraining order."

The Bee and the First Amendment Coalition also have opposed a gag order being issued. Prosecutors say they want it to avoid more publicity that could make it harder to find an unbiased jury.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Three young people who went along for the ride in the drive-thru window assault of a 21-year-old Boston Market server in Roseville will not be charged in the case, officials said Monday.

"Our detectives said their investigation is complete and they do not anticipate any additional arrests," said Roseville Police Department spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.

A 17-year-old boy turned himself into authorities five days after the Dec. 3 incident in which a serving of hot spinach was thrown in the face of the worker. He was charged with suspicion of committing battery causing great bodily harm. That case is now in the hands of the county prosecutor.

Police had originally sought the four teens in the vehicle during the incident.

One of the occupants threw the 180-degree order of hot creamed spinach into the face of server David Almas, police said. Almas suffered serious burns.

Authorities said the assault appeared to be a copy of a prank in which customers yell "Fire in the hole!" as they throw cold drinks at drive-thru workers, some of which, have been posted on YouTube.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

Bennett.JPGBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An Auburn man described by a Placer County judge as a "danger to women" has been sentenced to seven years in state prison for domestic violence.

Thomas K. Bennett, 61, was sentenced Friday by Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry. The judge noted that Bennett's record showed a history of criminal convictions for domestic violence, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Bennett's latest conviction came in October when a jury found him guilty of inflicting corporal injury upon a cohabitant and of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, both of which are felonies.

Evidence during the trial showed that Bennett beat and choked a cohabitant during an argument at an Auburn apartment March 24 and that he put his hand over the woman's mouth as if to suffocate her.

Judge Curry noted that Bennett had admitted to special allegations that he previously had been convicted and served prison terms for domestic violence, meaning the judge could add extra years in prison for Bennett's latest conviction.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police seek help in solving a string of break-ins that have recently struck high school campuses.

Six campus burglaries or acts of vandalism have occurred during the late night or early morning hours.

Here's an itemized breakdown on the crimes:

-- Overnight Dec. 2 and 3 at Woodcreek High. Several vans belonging to the school district had windows shot out.

-- Overnight Dec. 2 and 3, vandalism to Roseville Aquatics Center next to Woodcreek High. Locks cut, flag ropes severed.

-- Last Tuesday night or Wednesday morning at Oakmont High. Burglary and fax machine taken.

-- Last Wednesday night or Thursday morning at Oakmont High. Safe taken with small amount of cash inside.

-- Thursday at Roseville High. Burglary, nothing taken.

-- This morning about 3:30 a.m. at Adelante High. Burglary: window was broken but nothing appears stolen. Burglar may have been frightened by alarm.

Anyone with information is asked to call Roseville Police Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A 51-year-old Rocklin man arrested with four pounds of marijuana in his pickup truck last month was sentenced to six months in Placer County jail.

Brian Kirk will also receive three years of probation, according to a press release from the Placer County prosecutor's office.

Kirk entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of illegally transporting marijuana. He was initially stopped for a moving violation on the night of Nov. 7. At that time he was issued a citation for driving with a suspended license and instructed to leave the vehicle. Kirk left the truck, but returned a short time later where upon he was arrested for driving without a license.

A search of the vehicle yielded a suitcase with glass jars filled with marijuana, officials said.

During sentencing, Kirk was instructed by Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols that he could continue to use marijuana for medial condition, but she instructed him to not drive while under the influence.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Placer County prosecutors have dropped the charges against Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Monica Chavez in the alleged Roseville dog park assault, Chavez's attorney told the Bee today.

Last month's trial resulted in mistrial after the jury deadlocked at 7-5 to convict.

Chavez was charged with battery after she, while off-duty, struck event planner and former model Shelly Riley after the latter forcefully separated their scrapping dogs at Roseville's Bear Dog Park. Her attorney, Mike Bowman, told The Bee, "They dismissed the case. They said their resources could be better spent elsewhere."

Since the law does not allow people convicted of a felony to possess a weapon, Chavez likely would have lost her job had she been convicted.

"My client was very happy," Bowman said after the 8:30 a.m. hearing.

Sgt. Tim Curran, Sacramento sheriff department spokesman, confirmed Chavez has been cleared by internal affairs and that she will return to patrol.

After the July incident, the sheriff's department started its own investigation. The department, citing personnel rules, declined to discuss the findings.

Chavez, who has been a deputy since 1998, has been on alternative assignment since the incident.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The Roseville police have arrested a 17-year-old Nevada County boy in last week's hot spinach assault of a Boston Market fast food clerk.AADAVIDALMAS.xlgraphic.prod_affiliate.4.JPG

The boy, accompanied by his parents, turned himself in at the Police Department about 10 a.m. Wednesday, said Dee Dee Gunther, a spokeswoman for the department.

He was booked into the Roseville jail under suspicion of committing battery causing great bodily harm and then released to his parents' custody.

Police are still working to determine whether the three other youths in the car during the incident should be arrested, Gunther said.

"Right now it will be handled in juvenile court unless the DA decides to do something different," Gunther said.

About 9 p.m. Friday, the four teens in a Honda Civic placed an order for a small serving of creamed spinach at the Boston Market on Foothill Boulevard, then promptly threw it on the drive-thru server's face.

Authorities said the assault appeared to be a reenactment of a popular prank in which customers yell "Fire in the Hole" as they throw cold drinks at the drive-thru worker.

The Roseville incident appears to have produced the most significant injuries stemming from the stunt.

The victim, David Almas, an American River College student, was hit with the creamed spinach - just cooked to 180 degrees. He was treated for serious face and neck burns.

Photo:
Boston Market employee David Almas, 21, suffered 2nd degree burns on his face and neck when he was the victim of a popular prank called "Fire in the Hole" at the Roseville eatery. Perpetrators threw a scalding hot cup of cream spinach they ordered back through the drive-through window injuring Almas. ANDY ALFARO - Sacramento Bee

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A Rocklin man got an unwanted early Christmas present when a pound of weed arrived in his mailbox Tuesday.

The medium-sized US Postal Service flat rate package listed the man's name and address on the return label, said Lt. Lon Milka, of the Rocklin Police Department.

"He didn't send it otherwise he wouldn't have called us," Milka said. The "ship to" address was a non-existing address in the Phoenix area, Milka said.

The package contained seven sealed bags of marijuana with an estimated street value of between $2,000 and $4,000, depending on the quality.

Milka said it's unusual for the postal service to actually attempt to deliver drugs. In many cases authorities notice the odor and contact the police.

He said the package was processed for evidence, but at this point the police have no leads. He urged people receiving suspicious packages to not open them.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police have arrested a man for allegedly making off with money given to him by confused store clerks.

Police say that Roy X. Garner, 59, of Citrus Heights was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of burglary and theft after his arrest on Tuesday.

Police suspect that Garner would make small purchases with cash and then trick cashiers into giving him more change than was due. Roseville police said that Garner is suspected of defrauding numerous local retailers.

Police outlined how it would work: a man would pay for small items with $50 or $100 bills. When clerks counted out change, the suspect would continually interrupt them.

He would ask for bills in different denominations or quickly hide one of the bills given to him in change. The man would claim that he never received the bills he would pocket, police said.

Eventually, the confused cashiers would give him more change than he was due. In one of the transactions, police suspect that Garner conned the cashier out of an extra $150.

Officers worked with a network of law enforcement agencies and retail crime prevention agents to identify a suspect, according to a Roseville police press release.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Lincoln police arrested three men on suspicion of stealing a car and tampering with another vehicle this morning.

Officers were called about 1 a.m. today to the 2100 block of Mount Errigal Lane on a report that two men were tampering with a vehicle in a driveway. The suspects fled in a dark-colored Honda before police arrived.

The responding officers saw a similar car on Highway 65 and stopped the vehicle.

Officers arrested the three men in the Honda and allegedly found burglary tools, stolen property and a controlled substance during a search.

Officers believe that the men were also involved in the theft of a sedan in the 1900 block of Letterkenny Lane. Police believe that the men parked the stolen car nearby, intending to come back for it later.

Officers returned the vehicle to its owner.

Police said the suspects arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, vehicle tampering and other charges were Anish Arjun, 20, of Elk Grove; Selvin Prakash, 22, of Sacramento; and Rajneel Kumar, 28, of Sacramento.


View Larger Map


View Larger Map

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Placer County Sheriff's bomb squad unit on Tuesday afternoon detonated a suspicious device that was found in a landfill, department officials said.

Spokesman Lt. Mark Reed said shortly after noon, workers at Nortech Waste near Athens Avenue and Fiddyment Road called authorities to say they found the device - which had an explosive tag and a fuse - while they were sorting through the trash for recyclable materials.

The bomb squad responded and used a robot to move the device to a safe location, where it was detonated.

Reed said the device looked homemade.

"There were wires and a battery source inside," Reed said.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Bill Lindelof and Chelsea Phua
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Placer County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man suspected of trying to run over a deputy with a stolen pickup truck today in Lincoln.

Coroner officials identified the dead man as John William Sinor, 42, of the Lincoln area. He was a parolee-at-large out of Yuba County, authorities said.

The events that led to the shooting began early this morning Sheriff's Department undercover deputies, as part of a regional auto theft task force, began following a white pickup truck that had been reported stolen.

The deputies called for patrol deputies as backup before the vehicle was pulled over in an alley just off G Street between First and Second streets at 10:42 a.m.

Jill Thompson, a Lincoln police spokeswoman, said in a news release that when patrol deputies tried to pull over the driver of the pickup, the suspect rammed a deputy's patrol car and then tried to run over a deputy who was on foot.

Deputies then opened fire, Thompson said. The man was transported to a hospital and later was pronounced dead.

No deputies was injured. Neither of the patrol deputies were identified, but Thompson said one had 11 years experience and the other was a 13-year veteran. Sheriff's officials said the men have been placed a few days of paid administrative leave as protocol while the investigation is ongoing.

The Lincoln Police Department is handling the review of the shooting.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

An employee at the drive-through window of a Boston Market restaurant in Roseville on Friday night required emergency medical treatment after a customer threw a menu item - a hot spinach dish - into the face of the worker as he served the customer at the drive-thru window.

Roseville Police Lt. Michael Doane said the spinach caused burns to the employee's face and neck area. The 21-year-old worker, a Sacramento resident, was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Doane described the suspect as 17 to 18 years of age, about 5-foot-9, 150 lbs with blond hair and a slender build. He drove a 1980s green, four-door Honda Civic through the restaurant at the 5000 block of Foothills Boulevard.

"It appears at this point to be similar to what they refer to as fire-in-the hole pranks you can watch on videos where people film themselves throwing stuff onto clerks who are there to help them," Doane said.

"There are people who know who this individual is, and we're hoping that they will come forward," he said, "or once the suspect knows he seriously injured somebody that he will turn himself in.

"We're taking this very seriously."

Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

A man linked to a powerful drug-related explosion that damaged a series of garages in a gated Roseville apartment complex is in the UC Davis Medical Center today with burns over his face and neck, police said.

Roseville Police Lt. Michael Doane said the unidentified Roseville suspect, in his early 30s, was seen running from the site of the 5:47 p.m. blast Saturday.

The explosion in the 700 block of Gibson Drive occurred from a buildup of propane apparently as the suspect was attempting to extract hash oil from marijuana plants inside one of the garage units, Doane said.

"There was no ventilation in the garage," he said. "There was a buildup of butane and something sparked the gas and caused the explosion."

Responding officers found damage in perhaps a half dozen garages, including two garage doors blown off their frames and walls breached between units. One garage door was blown outward by 40 feet to 50 feet, hitting a fence, Doane said.

Officers obtained a search warrant for the explosion site and found several pounds of marijuana.

The garages do not directly link to apartment units.

Some time after the blast, occupants of an apartment unit in the complex came home and found the injured man had broken in. They alerted police.

"He is a suspect and ultimately he will be facing criminal prosecution," Doane said of the suspect. However, instead of arresting him on the spot, the man was transported to the hospital for treatment.

He faces arrest in connection with both the drugs and unlawful entry into an apartment, he said.

"His injuries are taking precedence over the criminal prosecution," Doane explained. In addition to injuries from the blast, the man sustained self-inflicted wounds, he said.

Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.

By Matthew Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is encouraging local residents and businesses to display blue lights in December in honor of fallen law enforcement officers, according to a sheriff's office press release.

Project Blue Light is a memorial to fallen law enforcement officers observed nationally every year since it began in 1998. The light shows respect and encouragement for fallen officers and their families, the release states.

The sheriff's office suggests residents display blue lights on a holiday tree, in windows or as outside decorations, according to the release. Businesses can place blue lights over their entrance, on strings of exterior lights or in storefront windows.

Call The Bee's Matthew Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

virgophoto.jpgA 46-year-old Applegate man has been sentenced to 121 years and eight months to life in prison for a 2006 gunbattle with a Placer County Sheriff's SWAT team in which an estimated 50 to 70 rounds were fired.

A jury on Sept. 1 convicted David Allan Virgo (left) on 22 felony counts, including 10 charges of attempted murder. He was sentenced Wednesday by Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols, who announced her intention to lock up Virgo for the rest of his life, the Placer County District Attorney's Office reported.

There is no possibility that Virgo will be able to complete his sentence, Nichols said in handing out five consecutive terms of 15 years to life in prison as well as 46 more years for various special allegations related to assault and weapons violations.

The judge noted that Virgo exhibited "extremely dangerous behavior" during the Oct. 18, 2006, confrontation with officers, who had surrounded the Newcastle home where Virgo was partying with friends.

Despite the many rounds exchanged between Virgo and the officers, no one was injured.

Ten members of the sheriff's Special Enforcement Team, similar to a SWAT team, had surrounded the home on Happy Hollow Lane and had a warrant for Virgo's arrest, according to the release. But before the officers could peacefully contact Virgo, a partygoer outside the home spotted them, and soon afterward shots were heard coming from inside the house.

Officers responded by shooting out a floodlight that illuminated the outside of the yard.

During the subsequent gunfire, five unarmed people came out of the home and crawled to safety with the aid of officers, officials said. Virgo stayed in the home alone exchanging shots with officers.

During Virgo's trial, officers testified that Virgo could be heard yelling that he had explosives and would "blow up the place up," saying, "I'll kill everyone."

The standoff ended when Virgo surrendered.

Following a monthlong trial, a jury found Virgo guilty on 10 charges of attempted murder and 10 more charges of assault with a firearm on a peace officer. The jury also found Virgo guilty of two felony counts of being a felon in possession of firearms.

In addition, jurors determined that multiple special allegations that Virgo used firearms and acted with premeditation were true.

During the sentencing proceedings, Judge Nichols denied a motion by Virgo's defense lawyer for a new trial.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two Lincoln residents are in Placer County Jail facing assault and attempted robbery charges, and the alleged victim was arrested on an outstanding warrant, following a fight in which a shotgun was fired late Sunday night in an Auburn-area motel.

Placer County sheriff's deputies were called to the Super 8 Motel on Hillcrest Drive just before midnight Sunday regarding several reports of shots fired in one of the motel rooms. When deputies arrived, the people involved in the incident had fled, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Based on information supplied by witnesses, Placer County dispatchers broadcast a vehicle description, and moments later a deputy spotted the vehicle turning onto Bell Road from Bowman Road.

davis zane aaron.jpg

barnes ruthie ann.jpg

lopez andres.jpg

Inside the vehicle were Zane Aaron Davis, 28, and his half-sister, Ruthie Ann Barnes, 20. Deputies also found a shotgun in the vehicle, and Davis' pocket was full of shotgun shells, officials said.


Barnes told deputies that she went to the motel with her ex-boyfriend, Andres Lopez, 35, who supplied her with drugs. She said she called Davis to come get her when she feared Lopez wouldn't let her leave.

Davis arrived, shot out the room's window and entered. He and Lopez fought and the shotgun was fired three more times, according to the news release.

Deputies searched for Lopez, who had left his car at the motel and who they believed had been injured in the fight. About 8:15 a.m. Monday a deputy went to Colfax on a hunch that Lopez might take the bus or train from Colfax to Reno, where he previously lived. The deputy found Lopez sitting on a bench in front of the Greyhound station, with a bus ticket in his hand.

Officials said he had a large amount of blood on his clothing, and had suffered a large cut to his hand and pellet wounds to his leg. He was taken to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital for treatment.

Davis and Barnes are accused of setting up Lopez so they could rob him at the motel. Both are being held without bail on suspicion of attempted robbery, conspiracy and assault with a firearm. Barnes also is accused of possessing a controlled substance and hypodermic needles, possessing brass knuckles and bringing drugs into the jail.

After receiving medical treatment, Lopez was booked into jail for an outstanding burglary warrant from San Diego County and then released.

Photo credit: Placer County. Photos above, from left to right, Zane Aaron Davis, Ruthie Ann Barnes and Andres Lopez

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

Rocklin police arrested a man over the weekend after he allegedly struck an officer in the face during an altercation at a bowling alley, police spokesman said today.

A report of a minor being served alcohol by someone in a group of people brought officers to the Strikes Bowling Alley in the 5600 block of Lonetree Boulevard late Friday.

With the officers' help, the group was ejected from the bowling alley, Lt. Lon Milka said. But one member of the group insisted on going back inside to ask for a refund.

Once inside, Andrey Bondar, 27, refused to leave the business, Milka said. Bondar struck one officer in the face and knocked off the other officer's glasses, Milka said.

The officer who was hit did not require medical treatment, Milka said.

Bondar was booked into the Placer County jail on suspicion of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing, jail records show.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two people are in Placer County Jail on suspicion of attempted robbery and attempted murder after a shooting incident at an Auburn-area motel late Sunday night.

Ruthie Ann Barnes, 20, and Zane Aaron Davis, 28, are being held without bail.

Placer County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Mark Reid said deputies responded to a report of shots fired to the Super 8 Motel at 140 E. Hillcrest Drive. As they were en route to the site, they were notified that a vehicle was seen leaving the area.

The deputies stopped the vehicle with Davis and Barnes inside, and found the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting, Reid said. The two were taken into custody.

Reid said the incident is believed to have been drug related.

The victim fled before deputies arrived at the motel but was located Monday. Reid said the man had suffered minor injuries but was not struck by the gunshots. He was arrested on warrants.

Reid said the incident is still under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Kim Minugh and Bill Lindelof
kminugh@sacbee.com

An 18-month-old child who fell into a Pacific Gas & Electric canal near Colfax this morning has died, according to authorities.

The boy, identified by the Placer County Sheriff's Department as Zachary Mather, was walking with his mother along the canal in the 1300 block of Lake View Drive when they slipped on the ice and fell into the water about 9:40 a.m.

The mother was able to get out, but the boy could not, said Dena Erwin, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

A sheriff's helicopter aided in the search for the boy, who was found in a straining gate about a half-mile downstream from where he and his mother fell in. A diver pulled him from the water at about 11:40 a.m., Erwin said.

Mather was transported to Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:15 p.m., shortly after his arrival, Erwin said.

Detectives responded to the scene and will conduct interviews as part of a review of the death, but "everything points to just a tragic accident," Erwin said.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038.

By Bee Staff

A 32-year-old man died in a head-on collision in Loomis, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Robert Spillane III of Loomis was killed in the crash around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday on Horseshoe Bar Road, west of Happy Road, the CHP said.

Spillane lost control of his Geo Metro for an unknown reason and traveled into the path of a Chevrolet Tahoe driven by a 66-year-old woman, the CHP said.

Spillane was pronounced dead at the scene by South Placer Fire District paramedics, the CHP said.

The driver of the Tahoe suffered moderate injuries, the CHP said, and a 67-year-old male passenger in that vehicle suffered major injuries.

Q: What happened to Clarence Smith, the sickle slayer? He killed my brother, who was trying to help a woman Smith was attacking. - Nita Simmons, Auburn

A: Clarence Otis Smith died in prison in 2008 at age 80, records show.

Smith was serving two life sentences for his 1972 conviction on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, The Bee reported.

He was convicted of murdering Donna Fitzhugh, 28, of Ontario and a mother of two, and John Simmons, 29, of Weimar, in July 1971.

He was also known as the "Dog Bar killer" for the site along the American River where he committed the murders. He was called the "sickle slayer" because of the curved-blade knife he used.

Smith told officials that God had ordered him to kill people "possessed by demons" at the campground between Auburn and Nevada City.

Smith, who worked as a garbage collector, fled after the killings. FBI agents tracked him to Mexico City within a couple of weeks of the slayings and arrested him.

For a complete list of questions answered by Sacto911, click here

By Bee Staff

jojo amanda m.jpgThe Placer County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a 5th suspect in a female band of burglars led by a male.

Three women and one man have been arrested in the case, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Detectives are seeking Amanda Jojo, 21 (left), who is wanted on suspicion of burglary charges. All of the suspects are from Placer County.

Over the past several months, Stephanie Cooke-Perez, 27, Jayme L. Salcedo, 33, Karissa D. Yeager, 27, and Joseph W. Einspahr, 30, were arrested, a sheriff's spokeswoman said. (Below, from left to right, top to bottom.)

They are suspected of breaking into cars in the sheriff's jurisdiction, as well as State Parks' jurisdiction in Placer County, the spokeswoman said.

The group has been identified in 10 residential and vehicle burglaries, she said.

Detectives are still sorting through a large amount of stolen property found on the group and attempting to identify more burglaries.

Salcedo and Yeager have posted bail, the spokeswoman said.

Cooke-Perez is being held without bail on suspicion of a parole violation as well as charges of burglary, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and committing a felony while out on bail, the spokeswoman said.

Einspahr remains in custody at the Placer County Jail with bail set at $115,000, she said. He is charged with burglary, receiving stolen property, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, committing a felony while out on bail and a $25,000 warrant from Nevada County, she said.

cooke perez stephanie.jpg salcedo jayme lynn.jpg

yeager karissa dawn.jpg einspahr joseph wm.jpg

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The Placer County jurors in the case of the Roseville dog park battery told the court this afternoon that they are hopelessly deadlocked. A mistrial has been declared, court officials said.

RP COP IN COURT.JPGSacramento Sheriff's Deputy Monica Chavez was charged with battery after she struck event planner and former model Shelly Riley after Riley forcefully separated their scrapping dogs at the Roseville Bear Dog Park.

Chavez's attorney, Michael Bowman, argued that his client acted in defense of herself and her dogs.

It is not clear yet whether the Placer County prosecutors will seek a new trial.

Chavez could still face administrative punishment without a conviction, Sacramento Sheriff's Department officials said.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

Photo: Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Monica Chavez, center, leaves Placer Superior Court on July 20. Credit: Randy Pench.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A video of the smash-and-grab theft of four expensive road and mountain bikes from a Roseville bicycle shop has been posted on YouTube.

Someone smashed through the front door of The Hub, 1010 Pleasant Grove Blvd., about 3 a.m. last Wednesday.

The thief went for two high-priced mountain bikes with a replacement value of about $3,500 and $6,300. Then he took road bikes priced at $1,000 and $1,200.

Security video indicates that the thief had no problem taking the bikes off elevated racks, which can be awkward. Store employees are assuming that the thief has been in the store before and observed how to get the bikes down.

The masked man first smashed one of the front doors and then quickly loaded the bikes into a stolen van.

See the video here.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A fire last night swept through a long-standing Italian restaurant outside of Colfax.

Giovanni's, about a mile off the freeway on the outskirts of Colfax, was heavily damaged in the blaze that was reported at 10:20 p.m. Crews are still at the scene.

The restaurant dates back almost 70 years to when Gulio and Josephine Panelli moved to the small community of Shady Glen on Highway 40, then the main route over the mountains.

The couple bought an auto camp and began serving food and beverages. After Gulio died in 1945, according to the restaurant website, Josephine continued to serve Italian food and the spot was commonly called "Josie's Place."

Food service was discontinued in the early 1960s but the restaurant was reopened in 1982 by their son John Panelli. He called it "Giovanni's," which is Italian for John.

The cause of the fire was not immediately available.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Ed Fletcher
eflectcher@sacbee.com

The law enforcement career of Sacramento Sheriff's Deputy Monica Chavez is in the hands of a Placer County jury after prosecution and defense lawyers concluded their closing arguments midday in the case of involving an alleged dog park battery in July.

After three hours of deliberations, the 12-person jury asked for more information. With the court closed Friday, the earliest Chavez will know her fate is Monday.

"She can't be a peace officer if she is convicted of battery," said Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness. "My options would be limited, if she is convicted."

State law prohibits people convicted of battery of possessing a firearm. McGinness said she might be able to work a non-sworn position but not a deputy.

If she's not convicted, she could still face administrative action, McGinness said.

Chavez, who took the stand late Wednesday, has not contested that she punched Roseville party planner Shelly Riley, but said she did so in defense of herself and her two pugs. Riley handled Chavez's dogs as they tussled with Riley's smaller dog.

Chavez's attorney Michael Bowman said he sought a plea agreement that would allow Chavez to keep her job, but the Placer District Attorney's office wouldn't bite. He said in cases where law enforcement officers are involved district attorneys are afraid to show any leniency, for fear of public criticism.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

veterans grave.JPG

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Placer County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest of arrests for massive vandalism that occurred at the Manzanita Cemetery near Lincoln last weekend.

Between 100 and 150 headstones and monuments were overturned, pulled out of the ground or broken in pieces sometime between Friday and Sunday morning.

Some of the headstones were more than 100 years old. Officials said damage is estimated at more than $100,000.

Placer County Crime Stoppers in a nonprofit group that works with law enforcement agencies in the county to reduce crime. Through the Crime Stoppers' program, people can provide confidential information to law enforcement by calling (800) 923-8191. Callers may remain anonymous.

For more information see the website at www.placercrimestoppers.com.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

fallen memorial.JPG stone turned over.JPG

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The attorney defending Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Monica Chavez disputed the prosecution's argument that her June fracas with another woman at a Roseville dog park was a clear-cut case of battery.

In opening statements today, defense attorney Michael Bowman did not fight the fact that Chavez struck party planner Shelly Riley in the face, but rather he suggested that Chavez acted in defense of herself and her property - two pugs named "Maggie" and "Bear."

"At the end of the day, you'll have to ask yourself whether the prosecution had proved that it wasn't self defense," Bowman said.

In addition to Roseville Police Department investigation, Bowman referenced interviews conducted by the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.

Witnessed agree that the dogs tussled and Riley acted to intervene.

The jury will have to sort of what level of force on Chavez's dogs Riley used to separate her miniature pinscher "Diesel" from the pugs - varying witnesses have told the media it was everything from a foot tug to being tossed several feet - and whether Chavez's response was a rational act of defense.

Placer County Deputy District Attorney Kate Scarborough said Chavez lost her temper.

Scarborough showed the jury pictures of bruising to Riley's face and legs and scratches to her back.

That, she said, is battery.

"This was not a case about self protection" or protection of property, Scarborough told the jury.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Four expensive road and mountain bikes were stolen from a Roseville bicycle shop early this morning.

Someone smashed through the front door of The Hub, 1010 Pleasant Grove Blvd., about 3 a.m.

The thief went for two high-priced mountain bikes with a replacement value of about $3,500 and $6,300. Then he took road bikes priced at $1,000 and $1,200.

Security video indicated that the thief had no problem taking the bikes off elevated racks, which can be awkward. Store employees are assuming that the thief has been in the store before and observed how to get the bike's down due to the ease with which they were stolen.

Store employee Andy Spurgeon said the man was masked and wore gloves.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Monica Chavez will have to wait another day for her battery trial to begin after a juror's misstep pushed back opening statements.

Chavez, 32, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of battery after she allegedly hit another woman during a June dispute at a Roseville dog park.

The alleged incident took place June 20 at Bear Dog Park on Pleasant Grove Boulevard in Roseville.

Shelly Riley, a former online model for Playboy, said soon after pulling two pugs off of her dog, a miniature pinscher, Chavez punched her in the face.

Riley was not seriously injured.

With jury selection compete, the opening statements were expected to begin Tuesday afternoon. But after a juror fell while stepping into the jury box at the historic courthouse in Auburn, hurting her ankle, Superior Court Judge Mark Curry decided the move the trial's opening to Wednesday morning.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Roseville Police Department will offer a community workshop Wednesday on safe holiday shopping.

The free workshop will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Roseville Police Department, 1051 Junction Blvd.

Police detectives and prevention staff will talk about protecting personal property and personal information, property crime trends, common identity theft scams and how to spot suspicious activity.

For more information, call the Roseville Police Department's Community Services Division at (916) 774-5050.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

A rural Lincoln cemetery sustained heavy vandalism over the weekend.

As many as 200 granite and marble headstones, statues and benches were kicked or pushed over, said the manager for the agency that oversees the cemetery.

The vandalism occurred at the Manzanita Cemetery outside of Lincoln Saturday night. Many of the headstones are more than 150 years old.

"This is just outright desecration," said cemetery district manager Peter Barmettler.

The damage was discovered by a Lincoln resident Sunday afternoon. The resident contacted the Placer County Sheriff's department.

Barmettler said he did not know who might have committed the vandalism.

The Manzanita Cemetery, about five miles outside of town between Lincoln and Sheridan, is the oldest of four cemeteries in the Placer County Cemetery District No. 1. It was established in 1850 and contains recent burials and gravesites of Lincoln pioneers.

The cemetery area, which is patrolled by the Sheriff's Department, has only had minor vandalism in the past.

"It would be one thing if they just knocked over headstones," said Barmettler. "That's bad enough. We can repair that.

"But some of these are 10-foot-high monuments. When they hit the ground, they hit coping and other headstones, breaking into pieces. They can be repaired to an extent. But they will never be the same."

Fredric Gibbs, a cemetery district board member, said the board met Tuesday afternoon and authorized the cemetery manager to contact monument companies regarding the potential for repairing damaged headstones and monuments.

District staff members will be contacting families of those whose plots were damaged.

Although the plots and headstones are privately owned, Gibbs said the cemetery district is prepared to cover the cost of repairs.

People wishing information about the condition of a family member's plot may call the cemetery district office at (916) 645-2475 between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

The armed, possibly suicidal Roseville man who shut himself in his car and shut down traffic on Baseline Road in Roseville for two hours this afternoon has surrendered to authorities, said Lt. Mark Reed, Placer County Sheriff's Department spokesman.

The man, a Roseville resident in his 30s, had been sitting in his vehicle with a gun near Baseline Road and Brady Lane. He had not threatened anybody other than himself, Reed said.

Sheriff's deputies had blocked off all of Brady Lane and Baseline between Foothills Boulevard and Oak Borough Avenue, Reed said. All roads are now open.

Roseville police received a call around 1:52 p.m. from somebody concerned about the man, who was known to be in the area of Baseline and Brady, said Dee Dee Gunther, Roseville police department spokeswoman.

A Placer County sheriff's deputy located the man in his vehicle around 2:40 p.m., Reed said. Sheriff's department personnel were able to communicate with the man, and he surrendered at 5 p.m., Reed said.

"We were able to communicate with him and he ended up peacefully giving himself up," Reed said.

The man is in the custody of the sheriff's department and will be taken for a medical evaluation, Reed said.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Suspected Roseville Galleria Mall arsonist Alexander Piggee was back in court Monday, but the question of whether he's mentally fit for trial still looms.

Of the five reports from hospitals that had interactions with the 23-year-old homeless man, three - Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Woodland Memorial Hospital and Mercy San Juan Medical Center - and Twin Rivers School District have submitted documents to the courts, said Piggee's attorney Johnny Griffin III. Reports from the Kaiser hospital system and a Stockton-area hospital are expected to be received this week.

Piggee is accused of walking into the GameStop at Roseville's Westfield Galleria on Oct. 21, telling the clerk he had a bomb and a gun, then setting a fire in the store.

He is charged with aggravated arson, arson of a structure, two counts of threats to commit crimes resulting in death, and one count of burglary. He also faces a special allegation of using an accelerant to commit arson. Today's status hearing at the jail courthouse in Auburn lasted about 15 minutes.

Court officials said a doctor has been selected to do the evaluation, but he or she was not named.

The process of evaluating Piggee's mental state could take months. If he's found to be incompetent, he would be admitted to a psychiatric facility and held until he is deemed able to face trial.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawakara@sacbee.com

Auburn police have arrested a 31-year-old man who they allege tried to stab two Auburn men in their home and threatened to come back and kill others.

Javier Padilla was arrested without incident and booked into the Placer County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, terrorist threats, possession of stolen property and driving under the influence.

The suspect attacked two male occupants of a residence in the 500 block of Nevada Street with a knife, according to an Auburn police department press release. One of the victims sustained minor cuts, the release states.

According to the release, the suspect left the area in a vehicle before police got there, but a victim obtained the vehicle's license plate. Auburn Police Dispatch confirmed the car had been stolen out of Tracy, the release states.

Later, the suspect returned to the scene while police were there, according to the release. He then attempted to flee in his vehicle at a high rate of speed and crashed into an embankment on the south side of Nevada Street, coming to rest just before Palm Avenue.

The suspect fled on foot into a backyard on Palm Avenue and was found by police hiding in the grass.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The local community will have an opportunity to rate the Rocklin Police Department as it seeks reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc.

On Dec. 4, a team of assessors from the commission will examine all aspects of the department's policies, procedures, management, operations and support services, according to a department news release.

The Rocklin Police Department was first accredited in December 2008 and verification by the team that the department meets the commission's standards is part of a voluntary process to gain reaccreditation.

As part of the on-site assessment, Police Department employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments by calling (916) 625-5469 between 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 5. Comments will be taken by members of the assessment team.

Comments also may be made during a public information session at 6 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Rocklin Police Department's Community Room, 4080 Rocklin Road.

Telephone comments, as well as those made during the public hearing, are limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency's ability to comply with the commission's standards.

A copy of the standards is available at the Police Department. Individuals may call Sgt. Jamie Knox, accreditation manager, at (916) 625-5442, or Lt. Mike Freeman at (916) 625-5436.

Written comments may be mailed to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Inc., 10302 Eaton Place, Suite 100, Fairfax, VA, 22030-2201.

The commission's assessment team is composed of law enforcement officials from similar, out-of-state agencies.

Assessing the Rocklin department will be Capt. John Garavaglia of the Golden Police Department in Golden, Colo., and Lt. Raymond Cornford with the Rapid City Police Department in Rapid City, S.D.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

clip_image002.jpgA 41-year-old Roseville man has been sent to prison for three years and four months in a 2009 drunken driving case in which his vehicle went into oncoming traffic and killed two men in another vehicle in a head-on collision, according to the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Julian Manuel Martinez (left) pleaded no contest on Sept. 13 to two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence. He also pled no contest to a third felony charge - driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, according to a DA's office news release.

He killed Manuel Espinoza, 65, and his son, David Espinoza, 27.

Martinez was driving with a suspended license when his vehicle drifted into oncoming traffic and collided with the Espinoza vehicle shortly after 1 a.m. Nov. 1, 2009, on Baseline Road west of Fiddyment Road near Roseville, the release states.

Manuel Espinoza was killed in the crash. His son, David, was in a hospital for three months before succumbing to his injuries, the release states. A third occupant, Manuel Espinoza's wife, Enedina, 62, was injured but survived.

"There is absolutely nothing I can say for the pain that was caused on this (victims') family," Prosecutor Jeff Moore said. "It is my hope that the defendant always remembers the devastation to this family."

Still unresolved is the amount of restitution that Martinez must pay to the victims' family.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols scheduled a restitution hearing for Dec. 15.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Willits man on the way to a hunting trip in Nevada accidentally shot himself in the groin and hand on Interstate 80 in Auburn, the California Highway Patrol said today.

The hunters were eastbound on Interstate 80 on the way to shoot grouse in Nevada on Thursday when the shooting occurred about 2:30 p.m. between Russell Road and the Foresthill exit in Auburn.

The passenger in the pickup was shot as he handled a 9 mm handgun that was owned by the driver. The driver had a concealed weapon permit to carry the handgun.

An Auburn officer was on a traffic stop just west of the Foresthill Road exit when the pickup pulled over. The pickup truck driver got out and ran to the officer for help, said Auburn police Sgt. Dale Hutchins.

Hutchins said the man who was shot was not familiar with the weapon because it belonged to the driver.

"Obviously, he was mishandling the pistol," said Hutchins.

The injured 49-year-old man was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he was reported in fair condition today.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

A 38-year-old Roseville man faces a stipulated sentence of 19 years and four months in a state prison for incidents in 2009 that included an assault with a firearm and making a terrorist threat, according to the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

clip_image002.jpgMathew C. Hubbard (left) of Roseville pleaded guilty Monday in Placer County Superior Court to the two felony counts and also admitted to allegations of committing a hate crime in the assault case and to having been convicted of previous felonies, according to a news release from the DA's Office.

Prosecutor Stephanie Macumber said the defendant entered the pleas and admitted the special allegations on the day his case was scheduled to begin trial.

In one of the incidents in July 2009, Hubbard threatened another person with a knife. In a separate case a month later, Hubbard pointed a rifle at an African American man and made racial taunts.

Superior Court Judge Mark S. Curry set the sentencing for Dec. 17.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A former child protective services worker from Yuba County is scheduled for sentencing later this month after a Placer County jury found her guilty of 16 felony offenses, including check fraud, forgery, attempted extortion and accepting a bribe.

yolanda fryson.jpgYolanda Perez Fryson (left), 43, deposited checks with no funds to back them up so she could take money from her personal bank accounts in Placer and Yuba counties, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Officials said she also falsified documents to cover up the crimes and, while on administrative leave from her CPS job, used a missing badge from her office to misrepresent herself in an extortion attempt.

The jury returned guilty verdicts on all 16 counts Nov. 1, after deliberating for two days.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Joseph O'Flaherty, who presided over the three-week trial, scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Roseville man has been arrested on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and a firefighter.

Richard Wayne Berrera, 51, was arrested on suspicion of being an ex-felon in possession of a weapon and impersonating a peace officer and a firefighter.

He was allegedly spotted by a Roseville Fire Department captain Wednesday morning when an engine company was on a routine medical aid call at a care center in the 1100 block of Cirby Way.

The engine captain noticed a man in the parking lot wearing a firefighter baseball cap and t-shirt and a badge on his belt. The man then ducked behind a pickup truck when he saw the Roseville fire crew, according to a police department press release.

The fire captain, aware that someone has been falsely posing as a fire investigator, called Roseville police.

Roseville police found that Berrera's pickup had a red, dashboard-mounted emergency light. Inside, police said, they found numerous police- and fire department-type badges and identification cards.

When officers searched Berrera, they said they found that he was carrying a collapsible baton.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

A routine police stop for a traffic violation netted a driver's arrest and the confiscation of 4.25 pounds of marijuana shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday, Rocklin police said today.

Police said that a veteran Rocklin officer stopped a pickup truck following a traffic violation and issued the driver, Brian Kirk, a notice advising that his driver's license was suspended.

Kirk was asked to leave the vehicle and not to drive. The officer then arranged for help monitoring the site to ensure Kirk did not resume driving.

Soon after, Kirk climbed into the truck and drove away, police said.

The second time police stopped Kirk, he was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

A vehicle search yielded a suitcase and glass jars full of marijuana, or about 4.25 pounds of the weed, police said.

Kirk was booked in the Placer County Jail for investigation of marijuana transportation and possession.

Call The Bee's Loretta Kalb, (916) 321-1073.

Bee staff

An Auburn man accidentally discharged a pistol into his own calf at his home in the 100 block of Pacific Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, police said today.

Kevin Epsley was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was said to be recovering today.

A police spokesman said the case is under investigation for possible weapons violations.

PK_KINGS 0084[1].JPGBy Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Sacramento Kings player Antoine Wright (left) was arrested in Rocklin early today on suspicion of driving under the influence, police and his team said.

"I'm sorry for having gotten myself into this situation," the 26-year-old forward said in a statement. "I sincerely apologize to my teammates and coaches, the Sacramento Kings Organization, the Sacramento community and my fans and my family."

Rocklin police acting Sgt. Rich Cabana said that about 1:30 a.m., his department received a transfer call from the California Highway Patrol that a resident was following a possible drunken driver on westbound Interstate 80 near Rocklin Road.

The resident followed the suspected drunken driver off the exit to a Tesoro gas and food market on Rocklin Road, where the driver stopped in front of a gas pump, Cabana said.

When Rocklin police officers arrived, they identified the suspected drunken driver as Wright, and booked him into the Placer County jail, Cabana said, adding that he did not have information on Wright's blood alcohol level.

Wright's lawyer, Bill Portanova, said in the statement that "we are working closely with the Rocklin Police and cooperating fully in their investigation."

Wright has appeared in two of Sacramento's five games, and the Kings have a home game against Memphis on Saturday.

The statement did not say if Wright would face a suspension.

But Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations, said in the statement that "we are extremely disappointed in the situation Antoine has created for himself and the organization. There certainly has been no shortage of education and/or resources made available to our players in regard to these types of dangerous behaviors.

"We will, however, respect his right of due process at this time."

Team spokesman Troy Hanson said players can call team security at any hour if they need a ride. Players are also provided the phone number to an outside service for rides.

Wright's arrest is the latest in a string of run-ins with the law that Kings players, a coach and an owner have had in the past few years.

Last month, George Maloof Jr., the Kings' minority owner, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Las Vegas, where he is also the owner of the Palms Casino Resort. Maloof registered a 0.086 blood-alcohol level.

NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans pleaded no contest in July to driving recklessly on May 31 when a CHP plane spotted him driving at nearly 130 mph on Interstate 80 in northern Sacramento.

Kings forward Andres Nocioni pleaded no contest earlier this year to a November 2009 drunken driving incident in downtown Sacramento. He was arrested after attending a nightclub and registering a 0.12 blood-alcohol level.

He was sentenced to three years of informal probation that included two days in jail to be served on the sheriff's work project, a three-month class and fines totaling about $2,500.

In March 2007, former Kings forward Ron Artest was arrested and charged with four counts of misdemeanor domestic violence. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

In October 2006, then-Kings head coach Eric Musselman was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving following an exhibition win over the Utah Jazz. Musselman pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 48 hours on a work project, three years of informal probation and a $580 fine.

The league suspended Musselman for two games and he was fired when the Kings failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

The Associated Press, Bee staff writer Jason Jones and Deputy Sports Editor Victor Contreras contributed to this report.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Bee Staff

A woman who helped Roseville police catch a man responsible for a drive-by shooting was among eight people honored today by the Placer County district attorney for helping law enforcement or assisting a crime victim.

The honorees received plaques at a ceremony at the Placer County Board of Supervisors after being named recipients of the Placer County District Attorney's 13th annual Citizen Recognition Awards.

According to a news release from the DA's office, the honorees were:

-Kimberly Trotter of Citrus Heights, who assisted Roseville police in the capture of a drive-by shooting suspect who wounded a 16-year-old boy near the intersection of Sierra College and Douglas boulevards on Nov. 5, 2008.

Trotter witnessed the shooting as she drove behind the suspect's vehicle, called 911 on her cell phone and followed the car for several blocks while she provided the car's description and its path to the dispatcher. The shooter, Justin Wittkop, was convicted in a jury trial in February and is now serving multiple life sentences.

- Irene Rios, who was the manager of Supercuts in Lincoln on Feb. 27, when a 13-year-old Sacramento County girl entered the hair salon and asked to use the phone to call for a taxi cab. Rios was suspicious because the girl said her parents had left her alone in Lincoln.

Rios called Lincoln police, who interviewed the girl and learned that she had been taken to a hotel by a part-time Sacramento County sheriff's deputy and engaged in sex with him. The defendant, Eric Cephus, later pleaded out to sexual molestation charges and to an allegation of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 18 years in state prison.

-Two security employees in Truckee for their roles in the conviction of a woman who allowed her Down Syndrome child, 7, to wander away at a shopping center on March 29, 2009, and put himself in danger.

Peter Leibrock, supervisor of a security firm, found the boy running around in the underground parking garage at Village at Northstar in Lake Tahoe. The firm's dispatcher, Leesa Robb-Knudson, comforted and fed the boy as employees tried to identify him and find the parents.

The child's mother, who had a history of letting the boy wander away, was found guilty of felony child endangerment in a jury trial in October 2009. She was given a two-month jail sentence and placed on probation for four years.

-Three Sierra College students for their actions in a March 24, 2009, attack in which a man was stabbed repeatedly by a student on the Rocklin campus.

Cameron Gilbert of Newcastle pushed the attacker off the victim, stopping the attack and likely saving the victim's life.

Kimberly Black of Roseville and Bethany Lilly of Orangevale, two students, ran to the victim's aid and tried to stop the bleeding until emergency personnel arrived.

The three students testified at the trial of Paul Thomas Heintz, who was convicted of attempted first-degree murder on Sept. 30, 2010. Heintz's sentencing is pending.

-Colfax High School music teacher Todd Wilkinson, who organized a music concert to raise money for Jose Palomera, a motorist who was seriously injured by a rock thrown from an overpass by three teenagers on July 26, 2010.

The rock crashed through the windshield of Palomera's vehicle and struck him in the face, causing injuries to his mouth and jaw. The three teens pled to felony assault and conspiracy charges in adult court on Oct. 14 and were sentenced to the Juvenile Detention Center and placed on probation.

Wilkinson put together a concert featuring the high school's band and choir. The event drew about 400 people and raised more than $2,100 for Palomera

Senior Deputy District Attorney Garen Horst, who has organized all 13 of the Citizen Recognition Award programs, credited District Attorney Brad Fenocchio for his leadership in the program.

"Since its inception, we have honored over 250 individuals, many of whom have appeared before this board," Horst told the supervisors. "Our DA has been a tireless advocate of justice for this county, and he recognizes that fighting crime cannot be done just by the police or the DA, but at times must necessarily involve members of the community who decide to do the right thing."

Kirk Uhler, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, told the award winners that Placer County's law enforcement agencies are aided by involved citizens.

"Thank you for helping Placer County be a better place for all of us," Uhler said.

By Matthew Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Authorities have identified the motorcyclist killed in a head-on collision Wednesday in Newcastle.

Peter Price Pirtle, 53, of Newcastle, was killed when he veered into the path of an oncoming van on a rural roadway, according to Placer County Sheriff's Department public information officer Dena Erwin.

Pirtle was riding a 1997 Harley-Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Indian Hill Road at Newcastle Road at 2:43 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Dave Montijo said last week.

The road there consists of two eastbound lanes heading uphill and one westbound lane coming downhill, Montijo said. As Pirtle came to a slight curve, he drifted into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a 2003 commercial Chevy van driven by Christopher J. Lemieux, 27, of Fair Oaks.

Pirtle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Call The Bee's Matthew Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

A full-sized Ford pickup truck crashed into a pizza restaurant in Roseville this morning, injuring the driver, according to police officials.

No one in the restaurant, at 384 N. Sunrise Ave., has been reported injured and the driver was transported to a local hospital, said Dee Dee Gunther, a spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department.

At 11:31 a.m., officers responded to reports of a pickup truck crashing into the corner of the restaurant. When officers arrived at the scene, the driver was already out of the truck and on his feet, she said.

A building crew from Roseville is currently at the scene assessing the damage to the restaurant.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

In Placer County Superior Court today, the lawyer for suspected Westfield Galleria arsonist won a judge's order to have his client's mental state evaluated.

As expected, Johnny Griffin III asked Judge Colleen Nichols to suspend criminal proceedings so psychologists can analyze the 23-year-old.

"I had some questions concerning his mental stability. The court, based on that, agreed to appoint doctors to evaluate him to make an assessment," Griffin said. "I believe that he has substantial mental health issues."

Griffin said he had obtained documents from "at least four" mental heath facilities to support his claim.

Prior to the 2 p.m. hearing beginning, Piggee looked disinterested, tilting his head to the side and closing his eyes, as if he was taking a nap. Later he lightly bumped his head against the courtroom wall.

The young man is accused of starting last week's fire that severely damaged the Roseville shopping center, the Sacramento region's largest mall.

Facing five felony counts, Piggee is accused of walking into the GameStop at the Galleria on Oct. 21, telling the clerk he had a bomb and gun then setting fire to the store. The fire later burst out of control, forcing the mall to shut down for a week before some shops were reopened this morning.

The charges against Piggee include: aggravated arson, arson of a structure, two counts of threats to commit crimes resulting in death, and one count of burglary. He also faces a special allegation of using an accelerant to commit arson.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Placer County man who had been reported missing Tuesday was found dead Wednesday evening after a vehicle was discovered overturned down an embankment in the Meadow Vista area.

A bicyclist riding southbound on Placer Hills Road, north of Lake Arthur Road, observed what appeared to be an overturned vehicle and notified emergency personnel, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

Officials said it was determined that the driver of the vehicle, a white Honda CR-V, had been ejected and pinned under the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was identified as Gary D. Rosebush, 67, of Meadow Vista, who had been reported missing.

A preliminary investigation determined that Rosebush was traveling northbound on Placer Hills Road sometime on Monday when his vehicle traveled off the roadway and down the embankment where it hit a tree, according to the CHP.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

The public is invited to a family "Howl-O-Ween" event on Sunday, which will benefit Placer County law enforcement dogs.

From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., participants will be able to meet the dogs and their handlers at Starbucks, 1228 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville, across the street from the Galleria Mall. There will be K-9 demonstrations.

Raffle tickets will be for sale to win a new Trek mountain bike, donated by Bob's Cycle Center.

Raffle proceeds benefit local law enforcement dogs through the Foothills K-9 Association.

For more information, go to foothillsk9.org.

Raffle tickets are also available at Starbucks, Galleria Blvd., Bob's Cycle Center, 378 N. Sunrise Blvd., Roseville, and at the Animal Nutrition Center, 1805 Cirby Way, Roseville.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

Traffic is starting to clear up on eastbound Interstate 80 after an early morning big rig fire blocked multiple lanes in Roseville.

All lanes are now open except for one off ramp lane west of Taylor Road.

The Roseville Fire Department and the California Highway Patrol arrived at the scene shortly before 4 a.m. when they received reports of a tire on the truck catching fire.

The fire fully engulfed the truck, but no one inside the vehicle was injured.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the accident was in Auburn.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A motorcyclist was killed this afternoon in Newcastle when he veered into the path of an oncoming van on a rural Placer County roadway.

Officer Dave Montijo of the California Highway Patrol said the man was riding a 1997 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Indian Hill Road at Newcastle Road at 2:43 p.m. At that point, Montijo said, the road consists of two eastbound lanes heading uphill and one westbound lane coming downhill.

As he approached a slight curve, the motorcyclist strayed into the opposite lane where he collided head on with a 2003 commercial Chevy van driven by a 27-year-old Fair Oaks man.

The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released pending notification of family, and Montijo said officers were still trying to confirm where he lived.

The van's driver was not injured, although his vehicle was totaled, Montijo said. The collision also sparked a small grass fire that was quickly extinguished by the Newcastle Fire Department.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

A 19-year-old Roseville man was arrested for illegal drug possession early this morning after a neighbor alerted police about a possible car burglary near his house, according to police officials.

Michael Dean Castro was arrested by the Rocklin Police Department for possession of narcotics, possession of medication without a prescription, and possession of marijuana in access of 28.5 grams.

Rocklin police officers arrived at the 2700 block of Genesee Drive at around 3:06 a.m. after receiving a report of a possible car burglary. The neighbor, who saw Castro looking in a car, pointed out where he had last seen the suspect to the officers. After searching the area, officers found the Castro hiding in the bushes. Prescription medicine, which was not prescribed to Castro, and marijuana were found on the suspect.

He was booked into Placer County Jail and is being held on $10,000 bail.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Sam Stanton and Dale Kasler
sstanton@sacbee.com

Some Westfield Galleria stores, including Nordstrom, may be able to open in the next several days, a Westfield official said this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Roseville authorities revealed they will be reviewing whether the mall sprinkler system was ordered turned off at some point during Thursday's fire.

Questions have lingered about how the fire took over the mall after it initially appeared to be doing little damage once the sprinkler system was activated Thursday morning.

Witnesses at the scene reported seeing little smoke until after noon, when the fire suddenly erupted into a huge blaze.

Roseville police kept firefighters from going into the mall to fight the fire over fears that a bomb was inside, and authorities have said they have no information on whether the sprinkler system was shut down at one point.

Dennis Mathisen, division chief for Roseville Fire, said in response to reporters' questions at a press conference at the Galleria that determining what happened with the sprinklers would be investigated.

"We've been hearing some of the information, too," Mathisen said. "As with any investigation our ears and eyes are wide open (for) any information that comes our way ... There have been no final determinations that have been made."

Mathisen added that "we can say that the sprinkler system was activated," but would not elaborate.

Roseville police Lt. Michael Doane also said he could not address the issue. "All of that is being reviewed right now," he said.

Officials have said the mall may not be able to reopen until late November, but mall general manager Gavin Farnam said today that the mall can be reopened in phases, beginning in "several days" with the opening of Nordstrom and some other stores.

He did not elaborate, but Roseville public works director Rob Jensen said he believed 25 to 30 percent of the Galleria's stores may soon reopen.

"It's a good number of stores that will be open within the week," Jensen said.

Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

By Queenie Wong and Ed Fletcher
qwong@sacbee.com

piggee_mother.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPGFederal bomb agents have removed "items of evidentiary value" from the crime scene inside the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, but will not reveal whether that means they've located the backpack that they believe might contain explosives.

"It's still an active criminal investigation," said Jeff Vind, the assistant special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

ATF agents are inside the mall focusing on the second-floor area where the fire began last Thursday, setting off a massive blaze that badly damaged at least 20 stores and is likely to keep the Galleria shut until late November.

Vind said a great deal of progress was made today but that there is still a great deal of debris to deal with.

"It's still a dangerous location," he said.

Vind's comments came as the suspect in the fire, Alexander Corney Piggee, made his first court appearance in Auburn briefly.

He faces five felony counts -- aggravated arson, arson of a structure, two counts of threats to commit crimes resulting in death and burglary -- as well as a special allegation of using an accelerant to commit arson.

Piggee, 23, blurted out in court that he is "not guilty," but the Placer Superior Court judge did not enter a plea and scheduled another court session for Oct. 28 to give his family the opportunity to hire an attorney.

No one was injured in the fire, but about one quarter of the 1.3 million square foot center -- the largest shopping complex in the region -- was damaged by fire, smoke or water.

About a dozen of Piggee's family members showed up in court in Auburn. His mother has told The Bee that Piggee was angry and troubled over the fact that she had told him he had to move from her home because he was an adult who needed to fend for himself. She also said he had visited three hospitals in the past six weeks seeking treatment for depression.

Family members would not speak to the media at the courthouse, but his mother, Mary Carter, briefly interrupted the hearing as the judge was asking Piggee whether he wanted a public defender appointed. "I'm his mother," she told the judge after raising her hand, then said she was working to get Sacramento attorney Johnny Griffin III hired.

The judge then asked Piggee if he wanted to wait for his family to hire an attorney and he replied, "I'll trust my family, I'll wait."

Photo caption: Mary Carter, left, mother of suspect Alexander Corney Piggee, walks with another son, Michael Marilao, Jr. into Placer County Court in Auburn on Monday with another of her sons. (Photo by Randy Pench)

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

An Orangevale man who was found dead of an apparent suicide Tuesday in a rugged part of Placer County was a suspect in a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department child molestation investigation, according to a news release.

jamiemichaellewis.jpgJamie "Jim" Lewis (right) was found dead by the Placer County Sheriff's Department in a remote area of Robinson Flat from an apparent suicide, a Placer sheriff's spokesman said earlier this week.

Lewis was reported missing on Monday.

Lewis was a registered sex offender as a result of a 1990 child molestation conviction in Shasta County, according to the Sacramento sheriff's release.

Sacramento sheriff's child-abuse detectives were seeking Lewis' arrest in a new case, the release states.

Detectives believe that Lewis recently became aware of the current investigation, according to the release.

The release states that Lewis told his family on Oct. 16 that he was going to go ATV riding in at Robinson Flat and that a family friend reported Lewis missing on Monday when Lewis did not return home.

Placer County deputies, search and rescue volunteers and California Highway Patrol air support searched for him Monday and Tuesday. They were joined Tuesday by searchers from Sacramento, El Dorado and Yuba counties.

Detectives also believe that there may be other victims who were victimized by Lewis and have not come forward, according to the release.

Detectives are asking anyone who believes their child had contact with and may have been victimized by Lewis to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

kcra_mall_01.jpg

kcra_mall_02.jpg

kcra_mall_03.jpgBee Staff

Roseville authorities are investigating the unauthorized release of photos of the burned interior of the Westfield Galleria in Roseville, saying they appear to have been leaked by emergency response officials working inside the mall.

City spokeswoman Megan MacPherson said city workers had taken video from inside the structure earlier today and had hoped to release it but were holding off because Westfield officials had not yet been able to get inside to see the damage for themselves.

However, three photos that appear to have been taken by a cell phone camera were leaked in an anonymous email to KCRA and posted on the station's website.

MacPherson said only emergency personnel and city officials have been allowed inside the mall and that officials are looking into how the photos were released. She added that the photos did not come from the video city officials took earlier.

By Bee Staff

A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest or arrests in the theft of 32 new Apple MacBook laptop computers, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

The computers were stolen from the Harvest Ridge Cooperative Charter School, 9050 Old State Highway in Newcastle, sometime between 3 p.m. Oct. 16 and 6:30 a.m. Oct. 18, according to a news release.

The computers, still in boxes, are described as white, 13-inch Apple MacBook laptops. The computers are valued at $36,000.

The suspect or suspects entered the school by breaking a window. They then went through five classrooms before breaking a padlock to enter a secure area where the computers were stored.

"The true victims in this case are the students who are now without their educational tools," said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Ausnow.

Anyone with information is asked to call Placer County Crime Stoppers toll-free at (800) 923-8191. Operators are available 24 hours a day.

Tipsters can remain anonymous and receive a reward of up to $1,000 if their information leads to an arrest or arrests.

All information remains confidential. For more information on Placer County Crime Stoppers, go to www.placercrimestoppers.com

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

The 23-year-old man suspected of setting fire to the Westfield Galleria in Roseville has been booked at the Placer County Jail.

Alexander Piggee, a transient, was booked on suspicion of arson (willfully and maliciously setting a fire), arson under conditions likely to cause great bodily injury and causing damages and losses in excess of $6.5 million, burglary (entering a building with the intent to commit a felony) and making criminal threats.

He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. on October 25.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Ryan Lillis
rlillis@sacbee.com

The suspect in the Roseville Galleria fire may be connected to two arsons in Antelope in the past day, a source has told The Bee.

Follow this developing news story here.

Call The Bee's Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1061.

Follow updates to this developing news story here.

By Matt Kawahara, Bill Lindelof, Ed Fletcher, Dale Kasler and Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

A fresh plume of heavy black smoke is pouring from the Roseville Galleria this afternoon as police continue to try and determine whether a backpack left there during a barricade situation this morning contained any explosives.

There was no immediate word on what caused the fresh smoke, but Roseville officials say the suspect in the siege of the mall has been taken to the Roseville city jail.

The suspect's name has not yet been released, but the incident ended with no injuries to customers or employees.

The drama began this morning after a man in his early to mid-20s walked into the GameStop store on the second floor and began talking incoherently to clerks, and then ordered them out.

The suspect apparently set a fire inside the mall after it was evacuated, but the mall's sprinkler system appeared to have suppressed portions of the fire after a period during which a large plume of smoke billowed from the mall, the largest in the Sacramento region.

Police and firefighters delayed entering the GameStop store where a fire apparently was set because of concerns over the backpack.

Officials said the man took over the store after telling the clerks something about his sister being held captive.

He then ordered the GameStop workers out, sparking the evacuation and closure of the mall.

The mother of the GameStop manager said she spoke to her son after the mall evacuation to make certain everyone was all right.

"I called him right away," Norma Delgado told The Bee. "The store was evacuated and he's doing fine."

Delgado said her son told her that the suspect came in and ordered workers to leave.

"He didn't tell me much, he just told me he was ordered to get out, and he did," she said. "I'm still a little shaky."

Misty Briglia, who works inside the Macy's next to the GameStop, said workers initially were told not to alarm customers or let them know precisely what was going on until everyone was ordered to evacuate at about 11:15 a.m.

"I'm a little freaked out," she said.

The evacuation led to a massive response to the mall, a sprawling 10-year-old center that is one of the area's top shopping destinations.

Police and fire units surrounded the buildings while shoppers and customers moved away from the mall as smoke billowed overhead.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspect, who could be seen handcuffed and being questioned by officers sitting on a mall bench, was armed.

Reports that shots had been fired were dismissed by Roseville police, who said the sound was from a non-lethal device being used to break a window.

The Galleria has transformed Roseville into one of the retail hubs of the Sacramento area.

Not only has it imported such upscale merchants as Tiffany and Louis Vitton, it's also sparked the development of several shopping centers in the adjacent area. Last February Hyatt opened a hotel next door.

In addition, the mall serves as "home court" for the Sacramento Capitals team tennis franchise.

A $240 million expansion, concluded in November 2008, brought 100 more stores to the mall and signified the Galleria's ability to persevere in a difficult economy. It also irritated Sacramento city officials, who accused owner Westfield Corp. of lavishing attention on the Roseville mall while neglecting the company's Downtown Plaza.

The incident sparked heightened security measures at Arden Fair Mall, where Sacramento police came out to patrol the parking areas to make certain there were no problems.

Arden Fair security manager Steve Reed said he monitored the situation at the Galleria through law enforcement and media contacts, but that there were no problems at his mall today.

"Obviously, our main concern is the safety of the customers," Reed said. "We heightened our patrols, made them more frequent and actually had law enforcement on the property patrolling today because of this incident."

Ironically, Reed said, he began his day at 6 a.m. by distributing information from the U.S. Department of homeland Security on how merchants and security should respond to such an incident. Malls typically have extensive security procedures and surveillance devices, and Reed said they train regularly to respond to problems.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

Firefighters waiting for bomb squad to check out backpack

12:22 p.m.

A Fire Department spokesman said the mall's sprinkler system is being used as a "first line of defense" against a fire in the mall until the bomb squad tells firefighters they can move in.

12:20 p.m.

A Police Department bomb squad moves into to check out a backpack that police say the suspect left behind.

Around 12:10 p.m.

A suspect is taken into custody.

12:03 p.m.

Roseville Fire public information officer Dennis Mathiesen said that the situation "is extremely dangerous" for firefighters.

"We have to make sure we don't run in there too quick," said Mathiesen.

Police said they do not know of any motive for the suspect setting the store on fire.

11:55 a.m.

Firefighters can be seen moving toward the mall, apparently positioning themselves to fight the fire.

Sprinklers in mall are activated.

11:50 a.m.

Smoke can be seen rising from the mall.

Police have not been able to make contact with the man, Roseville Police officer Jerry Wernli said.

Police know who the suspect is but they are not releasing the man's name

About 10:30 a.m.

A subject walked into a business, identified by a Roseville spokeswoman as GameStop on the mall's second level.

The man, described as being in his 20s, was speaking incoherently, saying his sister was being held captive.

He told employees to leave and also said that he was armed.

After employees left he lit something on fire.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The Roseville Galleria Mall has been evacuated after reports of a suspect barricaded inside the mall.googmap.jpg

A Roseville city official confirmed that mall has been cleared. A police command post has been set up.

"We have the Roseville police department dealing with the suspect in the mall, possibly in the back room of one of the tenants of the mall," said Roseville city spokeswoman Vonette McCauley.

"They are addressing that situation. Fire and emergency medical services are on scene to deal with what may occur."

McCauley said she could not confirm if a fire reported earlier was an actual blaze or a report of a pulled fire alarm.

"We are trying to confirm that," she said.

McCauley said she could not confirm media reports that the tenant where the suspect may be holed up is the GameStop store.

The situation apparently started around 10:30 a.m.

No other details were available.

Image from Google maps.

map.jpg

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest or arrests of those responsible for a rock-throwing incident that injured two spectators at the Del Oro High School Band Spectacular Saturday night, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

A man was struck in the head and a young girl was hit in the hand by large rocks around 8 p.m. as they sat in the visitor bleachers. They both received medical aid at the scene, a sheriff's spokesman said.

"It's very fortunate that these injuries were not more serious," said Lt. Jeff Ausnow. "The rocks were the size of baseballs."

Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous and receive up to $1,000 in reward money is urged to call Placer County Crime Stoppers, toll-free at (800) 923-8191. Operators are available 24 hours a day.

If that information leads to an arrest or arrests, a cash reward will be paid. All information remains confidential.

Q: In the 1980s, Larry LaPoint killed Ray Lockridge a Coker-Ewing real estate agent. The shooting occurred at the real estate office in Roseville. Where is Lapoint now? - Anonymous, Roseville

A: Lawrence Eugene Lapoint, now 66, is in prison, records indicate.

Lapoint was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life for the Oct. 29, 1985, rifle and shotgun attack on a Roseville real estate office that left one man dead, The Bee reported.

Lapoint's sentence for the murder of Lockridge and six other criminal convictions from the same attack mean Lapoint would serve at least 25 years in state prison before becoming eligible for parole, prosecutors said at the time of his sentencing. Lapoint was sentenced on May 29, 1987.

The fatal shooting incident occurred at the Coker-Ewing Real Estate office on Douglas Boulevard in Roseville.

It stemmed from Lapoint's feud with the firm over alleged deficiencies in a south Roseville home that his ex-wife had purchased from Coker-Ewing. Lapoint, though divorced from his wife, still lived at the home.

Lockridge, 40, died in his office of gunshot wounds while Lapoint held hostage another Coker-Ewing employee who was wounded in the foot.

Lapoint surrendered to the California Highway Patrol about an hour after the shooting began, telling authorities he was after the firm's owners, Robert Coker and Harry Ewing.

For a complete list of questions answered by Sacto911, click here

By Bee Staff

Two minimum-security inmates - a car thief and a drugs/firearm possessor - escaped this morning from a support facility at Folsom State Prison, official said.

Officials described the escapees as:

-Jeffrey William Howard (below left), 43, a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 205 pounds with a shaved head, brown hair and brown eyes. He was sent to prison from Los Angeles County on July 13, 2009 to serve a four-year sentence for vehicle theft.

-Garrett Daniel Summitt (below right), 34, a white male, 6 feet tall, weighing 230 pounds with a shaved head, blonde hair and blue eyes. He was sent to prison from Los Angeles County on Dec. 10 to serve a six-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance and firearm possession.

Local law enforcement agencies and the California Highway Patrol have been notified and are assisting in the search.

Anyone seeing individuals who match the description should contact law enforcement authorities immediately or call 911.

Folsom State Prison opened in 1880 and is California's second oldest prison, officials said. It houses 3,526 minimum- and medium-security inmates and employs more than 1,100 people.

Jeffrey William Howard.jpg Garrett Daniel Summitt.jpg

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

jamiemichaellewis.jpgPlacer sheriff: Missing Orangevale man found dead of suicide

An Orangevale man missing in a rugged part of Placer County was found this afternoon dead of an apparent suicide, said Lt. Jeff Ausnow, spokesman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Jamie Michael Lewis, 51, should have returned home on Saturday from an outing on his all-terrain vehicle. He was riding his off-road vehicle in the Robinson Flat area between Foresthill and Soda Springs.

His body was found near Robinson Flat at around 1 p.m. by the Placer County Sheriff's Search and Rescue unit.

That is where Placer County deputies, search and rescue volunteers and California Highway Patrol air support searched for him on Monday and today. They were joined today by searchers from Sacramento, El Dorado and Yuba counties.

Lewis, an experienced ATV rider with no known medical issues, was reported missing on Monday by family members.

A total of 28 ATV riders, six riders on horseback, 25 hikers and personnel in two four-wheel drive vehicles searched for Lewis.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

A Roseville woman's scheme to collect insurance by reporting a phony home invasion robbery backfired and has resulted in a two-month jail sentence for her, the Placer County District Attorney's Office reported today.

seeyang.jpgSee Yang (left), 25, was also placed on three years probation and fined $270 during her sentencing Oct. 7 in Placer County Superior Court by a visiting judge, according to a news release from the DA offices.

Yang pleaded no contest on July 29 to a felony charge of grand theft by false pretenses in a case that stretched back to Feb. 9, 2008, when she reported to Roseville police that she had just been robbed in her home by two masked suspects, one of whom carried a gun, the release states.

Yang told police that the robbers made off with money and jewelry, and she presented a claim to her insurance company. She received an insurance payment the following month, the release states.

But the scheme eventually went awry when she took some of the missing items from the bogus robbery to a pawn shop in an effort to collect cash, according to the DA's office.

By Bee Staff

To help combat identity theft, the Roseville and Rocklin police departments, in partnership with Roseville Crime Stoppers and Pacific Records Management are sponsoring a document shredding service from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Document shredding will be done at the Roseville Municipal Parking Lot, corner of Oak Street and Washington Boulevard and at the Rocklin Police Department, 4080 Rocklin Road, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.

The service will be available for the following:

• Reconciled bank statements

• Credit card offers

• Old medical forms

• Old insurance forms

• Tax returns (after 7-year retention period)

• Reconciled credit card receipts

• Any other paperwork containing personal or financial information

The first three banker's boxes will be shredded for free. A fee of $5 will be charged for each additional box.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Three teenagers who were charged as adults in the case of a rock throwing case that seriously injured a motorist pleaded no contest Thursday to three felony counts.

The Placer County District Attorney's office said Sean Edwin Steele, 17, Hunter Perez and Samuel Edward Quinlan, both 16, -- all charged as adults -- entered pleas for conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.

Visiting Judge Garrett Olney sentenced the teenagers to 10 months in the Placer County Juvenile Detention Center and three years of probation.

Each also was ordered to perform 300 hours of community service. A violation of probation would mean six years in state prison and $10,000 in fines, the judge said.

"I hope these kids learn a lesson out of this," the victim, Jose Palomera, a Sacramento resident, said in a phone interview Thursday. In a news release by the District Attorney's Office, Palomera said he hopes the boys understand "what they did was not a game" and could have killed him and his two passengers.

Two of the boys have visited Palomera to apologize, and the parents of the third boy apologized to him in a previous court hearing, Palomera said.

Authorities said the teens were hurling rocks and debris - including a street barricade - from the Canyon Way overpass into oncoming traffic on Interstate 80 in the early hours of July 26.

The objects struck two trucks, but the drivers were not injured. But a rock smashed through the front windshield of Palomera's Ford Explorer and hit him in the face. Palomera was able to pull over to the side of the road.

In a complaint filed in August, prosecutors had listed eight felony counts. In exchange for the plea, the counts were reduced to three, said Dean Starks, Steele's defense attorney. However, the charge of assault with a deadly weapon will appear as a strike on the teens' criminal records, prosecutors said.

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Bee Staff

A man who intentionally ran down a Rocklin woman in 1994 as she was taking her daily walk is due a parole hearing.

Matthew Joseph Lopez, now 35, received the maximum sentence possible - life plus four years - for the unprovoked Aug. 29, 1994, attack, The Bee reported.

Lopez randomly chose the 51-year-old victim, who was walking in the bicycle lane on Whitney Boulevard, The Bee reported.

He was convicted of attempted murder.

The woman survived but sustained life-threatening injuries, including a broken back, shattered right knee, internal bleeding and bruising, and fractured leg, facial bones and fingers.

In his confession to police, Lopez said he wasn't happy with his life and wanted to do something that would land him in jail.

Lopez's hearing will be held Oct. 28 at the California State Prison, Solano where he is incarcerated.

If you want to give your opinion of an inmate's suitability for parole, you may mail a letter to:

Martin Hoshino, executive director

Board of Parole Hearings

1515 K Street

Sacramento, CA 95811

For more information on the Board of Parole Hearings, go to:

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Divisions_Boards/BOPH/

Bee researcher Linda Beymer contributed to this report

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police are searching for a man who assaulted a woman Tuesday night as she walked her dog in a local park.

Officers were called to Lincoln Estates Park, 331 James Drive, regarding an attack that occurred about 8 p.m. The 40-year-old woman was walking her dog in the park when a man she did not know attacked her with a knife, according to a Police Department news release. The man rummaged through her pockets, but did not take any property from her. He then ran away.

Officers searched the surrounding area with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol's helicopter and a police canine, but were unable to locate the man.

The woman was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where she was treated for a minor knife injury to her chest and released.

He assailant was described as Latino, in his late 20s or early 30s, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, with short hair, a goatee and a disheveled appearance. He was wearing a black beanie cap, a dark buttoned-up, long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers main remain anonymous and may be eligible for cash rewards for information leading to an arrest.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Teenagers and their parents can learn how to improve their safety behind the wheel during a Teen/Parent Driving Safety Fair at the All American Speedway in Roseville on Thursday.

The event, sponsored by the California Highway Patrol, Impact Teen Drivers and Bill McAnally Racing, is scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. The fair will feature safety workshops, information booths and drawings for prizes.

The All American Speedway is at 800 All America City Blvd., Roseville.

Thirty teenagers, ages 14 to 17, and their parents also will have an opportunity to drive a safety course on the track. Because the number of participants is limited, advance registration is recommended by calling (916) 733-7432. On-site signups will be accepted if spaces are available.

Deaths among teenage drivers are three times greater than among adult drivers, according to the California Highway Patrol. The driving safety fair, presented as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, is intended to raise awareness of the dangers of reckless and distracted driving, the No. 1 killer of teenagers in the United States.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Six teens from Roseville's Oakmont High School were arrested in connection with an off-campus fight over the weekend.

Roseville police said that about 9:45 p.m. Friday they responded to Crestmont Park, 1500 Champion Drive, for a report of a fight involving a large group of teenagers.

During the fight, which police said was not gang-related, an 18-year-old boy was hit several times with a large metal flashlight. He was treated and then released from a hospital.

Officers were not able to identify or locate all the participants so they called upon Roseville police department's youth service officers to interview students on the Oakmont campus today. As a result of those interviews, six male students were arrested on suspicion of assault causing great bodily injury.

One of the students was also charged on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The six teens were taken to Placer County Juvenile Hall.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Lincoln police have released the name of a man who was shot and killed on Sunday - the first homicide case that the city has seen in a decade.

He was identified as Antonio Morales, 36, of Lincoln.

Police continue to look for Gerardo Ramirez, 37, as a suspect in the fatal shooting of Morales.

Officers responded at about 9 p.m. on Sunday to a report that a man had been shot in the 1600 block of First Street. When they arrived at the Oaks at Joiner Ranch apartment complex they found the dead man.

Several people, including at least four adults, were inside the apartment when the shooting happened, said Lt. Paul Shelgren.

According to witnesses, Shelgren said the victim and the suspect were arguing when the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot Morales.

Investigators are working to determine what the men were arguing about and what triggered the shooting. Shelgren said both men knew each other.

Shelgren said investigators believe that Ramirez fled in a 1996 blue Toyota 4-Runner pick-up truck with the license plate number 5BXC720.

City officials said that the killing was the first homicide in Lincoln in a decade.

"This is the first homicide we have had since 1999 or 2000," said Jill Thompson, a city spokeswoman.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A grass fire that started around 4 p.m. west of Roseville was reported 40 percent contained at 100 acres about 5:30 p.m.

Daniel Berlant said the grass fire was near a residential area at Walerga Road and Bridgestone Crescent Court.

Firefighters have been kept busy this afternoon responding to grass fires around the Sacramento region.

In addition to the Roseville-area fire, Berlant said Cal Fire dispatched two strike teams of five engines each to two grass fires in Yuba County, one at Grand and Linda avenues in the Linda area, and the other at Highway 65 and 40 Mile Road near Wheatland.

Because of gusty winds, red flag fire warnings have been in effect this afternoon.

Berlant said the strongest winds have been reported between Dixon and the Bay Area.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A grass fire that began about 4 p.m. on Roseville's western edge burned a couple of fences, but firefighters were able to prevent damage to homes.fire.jpg

Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, reported shortly before 8 p.m. that the fire was 70 percent contained and full containment was expected by morning.

The fire initially was estimated to have burned about 100 acres, but after mapping the area from the air, Berlant said, that figure was reduced to 56 acres.

With homes bordering the fire on two sides, the city of Roseville sent automated phone messages to area residents about 5 p.m. advising evacuations, but then rescinded the advisory. Berlant said the fire was halted about 200 feet from some property lines.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters were kept busy throughout the afternoon responding to grass fires around the Sacramento region.

In addition to the Roseville-area fire, Berlant said Cal Fire dispatched two strike teams of five engines each to two grass fires in Yuba County, one at Grand and Linda avenues in the Linda area, and the other at Highway 65 and 40 Mile Road near Wheatland.

Because of gusting winds, red flag fire warnings were in effect throughout the afternoon and evening. Berlant said the strongest winds have been reported between Dixon and the Bay Area.

Photo credit: Paul Kitagaki Jr., The Sacramento Bee

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Chelsea Phua and Bill Lindelof
cphua@sacbee.com

Lincoln police are working the first homicide case that the city has seen in a decade.

They are looking for Gerardo Ramirez, 37, as a suspect in the fatal shooting of another man on Sunday night. Authorities are withholding the dead man's identity pending notification of family.

Officers responded at about 9 p.m. on Sunday to a report that a man had been shot at 1685 First St. When they arrived at the Oaks at Joiner Ranch apartment complex they found the dead man.

Several people, including at least four adults, were inside the apartment when the shooting happened, said Lt. Paul Shelgren. According to witnesses, Shelgren said the victim and the suspect were arguing when the suspect pulled out a handgun and shot the victim. Investigators are working to determine what the men were arguing about and what triggered the shooting. Shelgren said both men knew each other.

Shelgren said investigators believe that Ramirez took off in a 1996 blue Toyota 4-Runner pick-up truck with the license plate number 5BXC720.

City officials said that the killing was the first homicide in Lincoln in a decade.

"This is the first homicide we have had since 1999 or 2000," said Jill Thompson, a city spokeswoman.

A 41-year-old Lincoln man was arrested Dec. 20, 2000 on suspicion of stabbing his father to death.

Shelgren said Sunday's killing was an isolated incident.

"This is not an everyday or every year occurrence in Lincoln," Shelgren said. "I would imagine people are shocked."

"But the potential for this type of crime does exist," he said, noting Lincoln's growth and its proximity to other larger cities in the area such as Sacramento.

Most of the witnesses only spoke Spanish, Shelgren said. A lieutenant on duty that night who was fluent in Spanish helped translate the witnesses' statements.

Shelgren advises that anyone who has information or who spots Ramirez should try to observe as much information as possible without intervening into the situation. Anyone with information is asked to call Lincoln Police detective Jason Maschmeyer at (916) 645-4040

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Roseville police have arrested a parolee-at-large who broke into a sleeping Roseville woman's house and got into her bed, a police spokesman said.

Anteus Magee, 28, was booked into the Placer County jail on charges of burglary, sexual assault, failure to register as a sex offender and parole violation.

A Roseville woman who had hosted a party earlier in the evening woke up early Saturday morning and realized that there was a man in her bed, said Roseville police spokesman Cal Walstad.

The man left the house and was found later in a nearby neighborhood by police who had set up a perimeter around the original call, Walstad said. Magee was seen trying to leave the area, Walstad said.

Magee was arrested at 4:33 a.m., two hours after the attack, Walstad said.

He is being held at the Placer County jail without bail.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

174961737-93e20538e0bd0e9d0830fcc3bae419c0.4cb10200-scaled[1].jpg

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Fire crews have rescued a pilot who was trapped in a glider aircraft that became wrapped around power lines near State Highway 49 and Woodridge Drive just south of Lake of the Pines late this afternoon. (Photo above is courtesy of Cal Fire.)

The woman did not sustain injuries in the incident and was walking around fine on the ground, said Daniel Berlant, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman.

The woman was taking off in the glider from a nearby large, open field shortly before 4 p.m., Berlant said. The glider didn't get high enough to clear the power lines, and it became tangled around the lines, trapping the woman about 20 feet above the ground, Berlant said.

Fire crews were on scene around 4 p.m. and in communication with the woman while they waited for Pacific Gas and Electric crews to de-energize the power lines so she could be brought down, Berlant said.

Once the lines were de-energized, fire crews raised a ladder from a fire truck to the woman, who safely made her way down, Berlant said. The woman was rescued just before 6 p.m.

About 15 firefighters were on scene, Berlant said.

An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the event was in Placer County.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Roseville police arrested a woman who had been previously arrested with Ruben Cesar Salgado, the former California Highway Patrol officer who on Monday was sentenced to three years in prison.

Breaonna Ashley Nunes, 21, of Carmichael, was arrested just hours after Salgado, 37, pleaded no contest to a felony charge that he offered a confidential informant $10,000 to kill a witness in an earlier drug possession case he faced.

Nunes and Patrick Wayne Grady, 27, were arrested on an array of firearms and drug charges shortly after 4 p.m. in a parking lot of a hotel on Harding Boulevard, police said.

Here are the details, according to a Police Department news release:

Grady, a parolee who was carrying two loaded handguns, was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and other related charges, possession of methamphetamine for sale and related drug charges, and parole violations. He is being held without bail in the Placer County jail.

Another handgun was found under the passenger's seat of the car. Nunes, the passenger, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm and related weapons charges, and possession of methamphetamine for sale and related drug charges. She is being held in the Placer County jail on $50,000 bail.

After the arrests, Roseville Police officers conducted a parole search of Grady's house in Sacramento and found additional firearms and ammunition, as well as a large quantity of stolen property. The suspected stolen property was turned over to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Nunes was arrested with Salgado in July, when Salgado was being charged with soliciting a murder for hire.

On Monday, Salgado also pleaded no contest to a felony charge of possessing drugs while carrying a firearm and a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

nunes_breaonna_ashley.jpg

grady_patrick_wayne.jpg

Grady is pictured on the right; Nunes to the left. Photo credit: Roseville Police Department

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of taking a purse from a woman in an Auburn bank parking lot Monday afternoon.

Placer County sheriff's deputies and detectives responded to a report of a robbery at 12:55 p.m. in the Bank of America parking lot at 2885 Bell Road. The customer had come to the bank to make cash deposits from a local business. As she walked across the parking lot of the bank, a man approached and pulled her purse away from her, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

bidart josh t.jpgsilva dwight j.jpg
Photo credit: Photos released by Placer County Sheriff's Department

Based on information provided by witnesses, investigators identified the man accused of taking the purse as Joshua Tucker Bidart, 22, of Auburn. Dwight Jacob Silva, also 22, of Grass Valley is accused of driving the getaway vehicle.

The two men were arrested Monday evening on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy and booked into Placer County Jail. Bidart is being held on $50,000 bail and Silva, on $60,000 bail.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Nine people were displaced from their residences after a fire broke out early this morning in the garage of a Rocklin fourplex.

Fire Chief Bill Mikesell said the fire was reported at 3:34 a.m. in the 6100 block of Merrywood Drive. It started in a four-car garage.

The garage and two vehicles inside were a total loss, but Mikesell said firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the living quarters.

Nine people were in the units when the fire started and all were able to get out safely. Mikesell said one resident was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

"Any time you have a structure fire in a residence at this time you are always very, very thankful when quick action of neighbors or firefighters prevents major injuries or death," the fire chief said.

Mikesell said residents and witnesses are being interviewed, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The American Red Cross is assisting residents with emergency shelter, food and comfort items. Mikesell said the residents were allowed into their units to retrieve clothing and some personal items, but the building must be inspected to determine whether the fire damage to the garage has affected the structural integrity of the residential units. As of late Tuesday afternoon, he said, gas and electrical services had not been restored.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof and Kim Minugh
blindelof@sacbee.com

3M21SALGADO.standalone.prod_affiliate.4.JPGFormer California Highway Patrol Officer Ruben Salgado today was sentenced to state prison after he pleaded no contest to a charge that he tried to arrange a killing for hire.

Salgado (photo right) also pleaded no contest to two other charges, said Art Campos, a spokesman for the Placer County District Attorney's Office: felony drug possession while carrying a firearm and misdemeanor driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Salgado was sentenced to three years in state prison by Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry Gaddis after the judge ruled him ineligible for probation.

Salgado will not get credit for the time he has served in county jail.

"This law enforcement officer betrayed the public trust," prosecutor Doug Van Breeman said in a statement. "It is appropriate that he go to prison, even though he had no prior criminal record."

Salgado had pleaded not guilty in July to a charge that he offered $10,000 to have someone murder a witness against him in a drug and weapons case.

Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on May 11 in Rocklin after he allegedly paid a confidential informant $100 for 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine, according to a court brief filed by the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

At the time of his arrest, he had a semiautomatic pistol in his pants pocket and another on the front floorboard of his car, and was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to the court document.

Salgado pleaded not guilty to the drug and weapons charges and was free on $70,000 bail when he was arrested in the early morning hours of July 15 after allegedly offering another confidential informant $10,000 to murder the first informant, who is a witness in the case.

According to the court brief, the witness told a CHP investigator July 6 that she had heard through contacts that Salgado was "looking to take her out of the game."

An informant, who allegedly was solicited to arrange the murder, said Salgado stated that if the witness wasn't around, there would be no case against him.

According to the court brief, the informant told Salgado that the informant's brother had just been released from prison and could do the job.

When all three met in the Governors Inn parking lot on Richards Boulevard in Sacramento on July 14, Salgado allegedly gave details of how the murder was to occur, and discussed destruction of evidence and what to do with the witness's body.

The brief says Salgado told the individual who was to carry out the murder that he could provide a photo of the intended victim as early as July 19.

Salgado was arrested shortly after that conversation, according to the court document, and a search of his hotel room turned up a baggie of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe.

The CHP reported that Salgado's employment with the agency ended June 30. He had been assigned to patrol duties in the Auburn area since January 2009.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Six people were hospitalized Saturday with gastrointestinal ailments following a wedding at a Roseville church, a fire department spokeswoman said.

About 30 people were affected Saturday night by possible food poisoning at the Light of the Gospel Missionary Church on Cirby Way, where a wedding had been held in the afternoon, said Roseville Fire Department spokeswoman Vonette McCauley.

Six people were transported to a local hospital, while others were treated and released at the scene, McCauley said.

McCauley said fire department personnel suspect the stomach issues are "food-related" and ruled out the possibility that the issues were caused by hazardous materials.

The fire department responded to the church a little after 9 p.m., McCauley said.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A Placer County jury on Thursday convicted a former Sierra College student of trying to kill a former friend.

The jury convicted Paul Thomas Heintz, 23, of Rocklin, of attempted murder of Alex Abrahamian.

Abrahamian attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but was on the Sierra College campus visiting friends during his spring break. Abrahamian was dating a woman whom had previously dated Heintz.

Heintz testified during the four-day trial that, enraged at seeing Abrahamian and the woman on campus, he want after his former friend with a knife March 24, 2009, but had no intention of killing him, according to a news release from the Placer County District Attorney's office

Abrahamian underwent three surgeries as a result of the stabbing.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Auburn police are asking for help in finding two men wanted for questioning in a home-invasion attempted robbery.

Police said that 5:30 a.m. Wednesday three intruders entered a residence on Mikkelsen Drive and assaulted two male residents, demanding cash and property.

Two of the suspects were identified by police as Ken Amick (bottom left), 45, and Allen Patrick (bottom right), 35, both of Auburn. A third suspect wore a black ski mask, police said.

Police said they believe that Amick and Patrick know that they are wanted for questioning and are on the run.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Scott Alford at (530) 823-4237, extension 207. After business hours, call the dispatch center at (530) 823-4237.

Amick.JPG Patrick.JPG

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

A Roseville woman pleaded guilty today to stealing her deceased mother's Social Security benefits, according to the U.S. attorney in Sacramento.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that Virginia Kathleen Brown, 53, of Roseville, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman to theft of government property, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said in a news release.

In her guilty plea, Brown admitted that after her mother passed away in 2001, she continued to receive her mother's electronically deposited Widow's Insurance Benefits from January 2002 until July 2007, Wagner said.

Brown admitted that during this time she did not report her mother's death, and that the loss to the government totaled $54,088.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. Misdemeanor Prosecutor Michael A. Wheable handled the case.

Brown is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Newman Dec. 15.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The trial date has been set for Nov. 8 for former California Highway Patrol Officer Ruben Salgado in Placer County Superior Court. He is accused of trying to arrange a murder for hire.

Ruben Salgado.JPGSalgado (left) also faces gun and drug charges.

Today Salgado entered a "not guilty" plea to the consolidated set of charges, said Art Campos a spokesman for the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

With the trail set to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, that last matters to settle are the courtroom and judge. Those questions should be answered at a trial assignment hearing Nov. 5.

The trial is expected about a week, officials said.

Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on May 11 in Rocklin after he allegedly paid a confidential informant $100 for 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine, according to a court brief filed by the Placer County district attorney.

At the time of his arrest, he had a semiautomatic pistol in his pants pocket and another on the front floorboard of his car, and was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to the court document.

The CHP reported that Salgado's employment with the agency ended June 30. He had been assigned to patrol duties in the Auburn area since January 2009.

Salgado pleaded not guilty to the drug and weapons charges and was free on $70,000 bail when he was arrested in the early morning hours of July 15 after allegedly offering another confidential informant $10,000 to murder the first informant, who is a witness in the case.

According to the court brief, the witness told a CHP investigator July 6 that she had heard through contacts that Salgado was "looking to take her out of the game."

An informant, who allegedly was solicited to arrange the murder, said Salgado stated that if the witness wasn't around, there would be no case against him.

According to the court brief, the informant told Salgado that the informant's brother had just been released from prison and could do the job.

When all three met in a parking lot on Richards Boulevard in Sacramento on July 14, Salgado allegedly gave details of how the murder was to occur, and discussed destruction of evidence and what to do with the witness's body.

The brief says Salgado told the individual who was to carry out the murder that he could provide a photo of the intended victim as early as July 19.

Salgado was arrested shortly after that conversation, according to the court document, and a search of his hotel room turned up a baggie of methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police are investigating a report of a boy exposing himself to a girl in the restroom at a park.

Police said a 7-year-old girl was using the girl's restroom at Crestmont Park in the 1500 block of Champion Oaks Drive at 11:50 a.m. Saturday when a teenage boy entered and exposed himself to the child.

The teen asked what the girl's name was and told her he would not touch her, police reported. He then walked out.

The girl said when she exited the restroom, she saw the boy sitting on a bicycle and using a cell phone. The girl told her mother what happened and the boy rode away.

A search of the area by police and other adults was not successful.

The boy was described as white, 14-17 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a medium build and short, perhaps shaggy blond hair. He was wearing a white shirt with black writing and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Roseville Police Investigations Unit at (916) 774-5070.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com

Roseville police arrested a 36-year-old former rental property manager for allegedly misappropriating at least $21,000 in rent money that she collected from tenants.

Police said that Heather Shea Baker owned Great Estates, a property management company that collected rent and provided other services on behalf of rental property owners.baker_heather_shea.jpg

One of her clients reported Baker to police on Sunday, saying that Baker had not given her the rent and deposits that Baker had collected from her tenants.

Baker had also recently sent her clients a letter notifying them that she was shutting down her business, and investigators learned that she was planning to move out of state, authorities said.

Investigators arrested Baker in Napa on Sunday on suspicion of embezzlement. She has since been released from the Placer County Jail on a $10,000 bail bond.

Authorities said they have contacted two rental property owners who were Baker's clients, but believed that there are more victims. Police ask that clients who believe they may be owed money to contact the Roseville Police Department Investigations Units at (916) 774-5070, or Sgt. Darin DeFreece by e-mail at ddefreece@roseville.ca.us.

Photo: Roseville Police Department

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

Anthony Joshua Lane.jpgBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Police said a Rocklin resident used the Internet and GPS technology to retrieve his fiancee's stolen iPhone.

The boyfriend's tech-savvy ways also led to the arrest of Anthony Joshua Lane, 25, of Arvada, Colo., on suspicion of burglary, theft and possession of stolen property.

Rocklin police said that a magazine solicitor tried to make a sale in the 5200 block of Paragon Street on Saturday. The resident was not buying, and the solicitor left.

However, hours later the resident noticed his fiancee's iPhone was missing from the front porch. Using iPhone GPS technology and the Internet, the resident tracked the phone to a Home Depot on Fair Way Drive in Roseville.

After being identified by the resident, Lane was arrested for cell phone theft and booked into Placer County Jail.

Police allege they also found Lane in possession of a stolen wallet. The wallet, police said, was stolen from a wedding at the Sunset Center in Rocklin.

The person who owned the wallet was not aware it had been stolen when police called to tell her it had been found.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Redding man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for using the Internet to try to entice a Placer County teenager to engage in unlawful sexual conduct.

William Cody Ambord, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia. Ambord pleaded guilty July 9.

In 2009, the parents of a 14-year-old Placer County girl reported that they discovered that Ambord had been conducting an Internet relationship with their daughter and had persuaded the girl to meet him near her home for sex, according to court documents. The parents intervened and assumed the girl's online identity.

In late February 2009, Ambord traveled to the Sacramento area to meet with the girl and one of her girlfriends, another 14-year-old. After arriving in Sacramento, however, he was unable to contact the first girl and turned instead to her girlfriend, contacting her via instant messaging, not aware that the girl's mother had assumed her identity.

Ambord asked the "girlfriend" to sneak out and meet him at a motel in midtown Sacramento. The mother contacted police, and on March 1, 2009, Ambord was arrested at the motel.

He admitted to police that he had engaged in many online communications with one 14-year-old girl for a long period of time and that during the online conversations, the two had discussed sex, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Ambord told police that he bought a bus ticket to travel to Roseville to meet the girl. But when he arrived in Sacramento and was unable to contact the 14-year-old, he instead contacted her girlfriend.

The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A man was pronounced dead early this morning after his truck veered off Interstate 80 in Roseville and crashed into a construction area.

The Placer County Coroner's Office determined that the incident resulted from a medical issue, according to a Sheriff's Department spokeswoman. The nature of the medical condition was not disclosed, and the man's name has not been released.

California Highway Patrol investigators said the elderly man's Dodge pickup left westbound I-80 near Highway 65 about 4:30 a.m. and drifted into the construction area.

No other vehicles were involved and the truck sustained minor damage. Traffic on the freeway was not affected.

The man was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two Roseville teenagers have been arrested after allegedly offering a fellow student money to kill a probation officer.

The two, a 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy, are students at the Youth Resource Center school, a community school on Sundown Way operated by the Placer County Probation Department.

Roseville police were notified Tuesday morning of the students' alleged attempt to hire another student to kill one of the probation officers at the school. The two were upset with the probation officer because he had told them not to associate with each other, according to Police Department spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.

Police said no assault occurred and no weapons were found on campus.

The two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and soliciting another to commit murder, and taken to Placer County Juvenile Hall. Their names were not released because they are juveniles.

Officers also conducted a probation search of a Roseville house in connection with the incident and recovered a stolen, loaded handgun. A adult at the residence, 37-year-old Shavel Leveron Pope of Roseville, was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property. He was booked at Roseville City Jail and released after posting a $45,000 bail bond.

Gunther said Pope is not accused of involvement in the plot with the two juveniles, and is suspected of only the illegal weapon and stolen property offenses.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

An explosion that injured a 14-year-old Granite Bay boy this afternoon was caused by an illegal firework, according to the Placer County sheriff's bomb squad.

The boy sustained a moderate to severe injury to his hand, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Sheriff's emergency dispatchers received a call at 3:53 p.m. from a neighbor who reported hearing an explosion in the 5300 block of Olive Ranch Road. Deputies found the boy inside his home with an injured hand.

The youth was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Sheriff's officials said the incident remains under investigation.


View Larger Map

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Sam Stanton
sstanton@sacbee.com

At least two people have been arrested in connection with the credit card scam pulled at Paul Martin's American Bistro in Roseville, police said today, but the suspects are considered minor players and the ringleaders may be operating overseas.

Roseville police arrested a 22-year-old Stockton man Monday - identified as Vinh Thien Huynh - after he allegedly tried to use a fraudulent credit card at a local department store.

Police say the suspect had three phony credit cards with his real name but fraudulent card numbers that may have been purchased off the Internet. One of the credit card numbers he had was from the restaurant case, police said.

Huynh was arrested on suspicion of identity theft, grand theft and other charges and was booked into the Placer County jail on $75,000 bail.

Police said a second man who tried to use a credit card number stolen from the restaurant's computer has been arrested in Michigan and that hundreds of similar cases could stem from the theft of credit card information from the restaurant.

Authorities say such scams typically involve hackers or sophisticated thieves operating overseas who obtain credit card numbers from vulnerable retail establishments, then sell the numbers on the Internet.

Police say the restaurant has repaired the vulnerabilities in its computer system and no other cards have been compromised.

Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Rocklin woman was arrested after she allegedly stole a co-worker's credit cards.

Marcella Kay Mills, 51, was arrested by Auburn police today on suspicion of burglary, identity theft, forgery and possession of prescription medication without a prescription.

An employee of the Save Mart store at 386 Elm Ave. in Auburn reported Saturday that his wallet had been lost or stolen. A few hours later, he discovered that one of his credit cards had been used at an Auburn business.

During the investigation, police learned that the victim's wallet had been picked up by a co-worker, who used one of the victim's credit cards at an Auburn business and attempted to use it at two other businesses.

Mills was contacted by officers and arrested at her place of work today. During her arrest, she was found to possess prescription medication without a prescription, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

Mills was booked into Placer County Jail.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

IDVDR-21.jpgAuburn police have released photos of a young man suspected of holding up the West America Bank on Monday.

The man showed a note demanding cash to a teller about 3 p.m. He also had a small silver handgun.

After collecting cash from the teller and stuffing it in a blue bag, the suspect fled from the bank at 424 Grass Valley Highway.

The suspect was described as a slim white man in his mid-20s, with short brown hair and about 5 feet 6 inches tall. He was wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and blue tennis shoes.

Detectives ask that anyone with information call police at (530) 823-4237.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Rocklin police have arrested an 18-year-old and two juveniles in connection with a Sept. 11 convenience store robbery.

rosario.jpgManuel Epigmenio Rosario was taken into custody Thursday after detectives searched a residence near the 7-Eleven store that was robbed. The search turned up evidence of the robbery, according to a police department news release.

Rosario and two juveniles are accused of robbing the store at 2101 Sunset Blvd. about 2:50 a.m. According to police, one of the suspects used a handgun during the robbery.

Rosario was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon. He is being held on $200,000 bail.

The juveniles were arrested on suspicion of robbery and are in custody at Placer County Juvenile Hall.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A former Sacramento County social worker has been booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of stealing $324,000.

Julie Mee Vue, 40, was returned by the In-Home Supportive Services Fraud Task Force to Sacramento from Arkansas and booked into jail early Saturday.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's office said a 13-count complaint has been filed alleging Vue used her position as a Sacramento County In-Home Supportive Services social worker to steal more than $324,000 from the IHSS program.

She is being held in jail on suspicion of grand theft. Her bail is set at $325,000.

IHSS is a statewide program that aims to keep elderly and disabled residents in their homes and out of institutions such as nursing homes. State and local government officials, however, have long complained about rising costs in the program.

In June 2009, the county created a task force headed by the District Attorney's office to look into IHSS fraud.

The move came after the county's cost for running the IHSS program nearly quadrupled in less than a decade.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A suspected bank robber shot by a Placer County Sheriff's Department deputy Thursday afternoon following a short vehicle pursuit in Colfax has died, a sheriff's spokeswoman said today.

Gregory Ray Deford, 46, of Weimar, was airlifted for emergency treatment after being shot. He died Thursday night at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, the spokeswoman said.

Sheriff's officials said events unfolded like this:

Sheriff's detectives had obtained a warrant for Deford's arrest in the robberies of the Wells Fargo Bank in North Auburn on Aug. 28 and the Bank of the West on Lincoln Way on Sept. 10.

When they tried to contact Deford in Weimar about 3:30 p.m., he fled in a Ford Escort and a pursuit began.

When Deford refused to stop, a spike strip was deployed at Canyon Way and East Weimar Cross Road, flattening all four tires on his vehicle.

But Deford entered eastbound Interstate 80 and exited at Canyon Way in Colfax, where he crashed his vehicle on Whitcomb Avenue. Deford was shot as deputies attempted to take him into custody.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting are being investigated.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police today released the name of a man killed in a Roseville head-on collision Thursday that also injured four children.

He was identified as Calvin Lee Tooker, 28, of Roseville.

The incident began shortly after 11:40 a.m. Thursday when officers spotted an Audi sedan speeding northbound on Washington Boulevard at approximately 75 mph, police said.

Officers began pursuit, but disengaged out of concern for public safety as the driver sped through intersections and nearly struck a vehicle.

Moments later, motorcycle officers driving northbound on Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard had to take evasive action to avoid the still speeding red Audi roadster.

The motorcycle officers turned around to restart the pursuit, police said.

By the time officers caught up to the southbound Audi, it had stuck a Honda Odyssey minivan heading north on Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard at Horncastle Avenue.

The Audi, which was reported stolen from an area used car dealership, caught on fire as a result of the collision. Tooker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The female driver of the minivan and the four children - all under the age of five - suffered moderate to minor injuries.

The woman is believed to be the children's daycare provider, police said. The driver and children were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

"In my opinion, (the safety seats) seemed to mitigate the injuries. It would have been much worse had they not been in safety seats," Police Detective Jerry Wernli said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke and Chelsea Phua
clocke@sacbee.com

A Weimar man identified as a suspect in two recent bank robberies was shot by a Placer County Sheriff's Department deputy Thursday afternoon following a short vehicle pursuit in Colfax.

Gregory Ray Deford, 46, was airlifted to an area hospital and his condition was not immediately known, said, Placer County Sheriff's officials report.

Sheriff's detectives had obtained an warrant for Deford's arrest in the robberies of the Wells Fargo Bank in North Auburn on Aug. 28 and the Bank of the West on Lincoln Way on Sept. 10. When they tried to contact Deford in Weimar about 3:30 p.m., he fled in a Ford Escort and a pursuit began.

When Deford refused to stop, a spike strip was deployed at Canyon Way and East Weimar Cross Road, flattening all four tires on his vehicle, said Lt. Jeff Ausnow. But Deford entered eastbound Interstate 80 and exited at Canyon Way in Colfax, where he crashed his vehicle on Whitcomb Avenue. Deford was shot as deputies attempted to take him into custody.

"The suspect's actions forced one of our officers to fire his weapon, striking the suspect," Ausnow said.

Sheriff's officials said the circumstances surrounding the shooting are being investigated.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Ed Fletcher
eflectcher@sacbee.com

A detective investigating a Roseville head-on collision that killed a man on the run from police and injured four children credited the kids' safety seats for decreasing the severity of the injuries.

"Those car seats really saved those kids," said Detective Jerry Wernli, of the Roseville Police Department.

The incident began shortly after 11:40 a.m. when officers spotted an Audi sedan speeding northbound Washington Boulevard at approximately 75 mph, Wernli said.

Officers began pursuit, but disengaged out of concern for public safety as the driver blew through intersections and nearly struck a vehicle.

Moments later, motorcycle officers driving northbound on Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard had to take evasive action to avoid the still speeding Audi driver.

The motorcycle officers turned around to restart the pursuit, Wernli said.

By the time officers caught back up to the southbound Audi, it had stuck a Honda Odyssey minivan heading north on Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard at Horncastle Avenue.

Wernli police don't yet have an estimate of how fast either vehicle was traveling at the time of the collision.

"He drove into the northbound lanes. It doesn't appear that he tried to stop," he said.

The Audi, which was reported stolen from an area used car dealership, caught on fire as a result of the collision. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The female driver of the minivan and the four children - all under the age of five - suffered moderate to minor injuries.

The woman is believed to be the children's daycare provider, Wernli said. The driver and children were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

"In my opinion, (the safety seats) seemed to mitigate the injuries. It would have been much worse had they not been in safety seats," he said.

Wernli said as of 2:30 p.m. today, police had not identified the Audi driver or searched the vehicle.

The Audi was reported stolen Wednesday, but the report had not reached officers at the time of the pursuit, Wernli said.

The intersection remained closed this afternoon as the investigation continued.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A T-shirt design led Auburn police to a juvenile who reportedly admitted responsibility for a series of graffiti vandalisms throughout the city.

School Resource Officer David Neher spotted a design on a juvenile's T-shirt that he photo.JPGsaid he recognized from recent graffiti on the Placer High School campus, according to a Police Department news release. (The graffiti at left is one of the designs linked to the vandalism attacks.)

From that juvenile, the officer learned the identity of the student responsible for the design. Neher then interviewed the student, who confessed to some 20 acts of graffiti vandalism, police said. The suspect was referred to juvenile authorities.

Detectives also have identified other suspects involved in the activities, including recent graffiti on the Auburn Town Center.

Police said the cost of cleanup for the series of incidents exceeded $2,000.

Auburn detectives have solved several cases involving graffiti in the past year, resulting in arrests and citations, the release states.

Police said the cost of cleanup and repair following this type of vandalism is a heavy burden on the city, schools, businesses and citizens, particularly in a difficult economy.

Anyone who sees graffiti or observes any suspicious activity in the city is asked to call the Auburn Police Department. Information about a graffiti offender should be reported to Officer Neher at (530) 823-4237, ext. 263.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Ruben Salgado[1].jpgBy Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

The case of former California Highway Patrol Officer Ruben Salgado will proceed directly to trial after his defense attorney waived the right to a preliminary hearing.

Defense attorney Daniel A. Nicholson had hoped to close the evidentiary hearing to the media and the public out of concern that the publicity would hurt his client. Placer County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Penney rejected his request.

Penney said the First Amendment rights of the public and the media trump possible inconvenience to the court.

Outside of the courtroom, Nicholson said a fair trial might require a change of venue.

Salgado, 37, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he offered $10,000 to have someone murder a witness in an ongoing drug and weapons case.

Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, was arrested by the CHP on May 11 in Rocklin after he allegedly paid a confidential informant $100 for an eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine, a court brief filed by the Placer County District Attorney's Office states.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Hundreds of local cases in which thieves have collected credit-card numbers and used them to fraudulently make purchases have been traced to customers who frequented one Roseville restaurant, police said today.

Roseville police said that hundreds of credit-card numbers were compromised at Paul Martin's American Bistro.

Detectives believe that the problem is isolated to computer systems at the restaurant's site, 1455 Eureka Road, and "did not involve the external financial services network or any third-party data processing service," according to a police news release.

The cyber criminals who perpetrated the fraudulent credit-card activity are not known and could be operating anywhere in the world, police said.

The crooks were able to access the restaurant's credit-card processing system and steal credit-card numbers, which were then sold to other criminals and used to make purchases, police said.

Restaurant management is fully cooperating with the investigation. Paul Martin's has brought in computer security specialists to go over the restaurant's system to confirm they have found the only breach, police said.

They are also working to install safeguards to prevent further problems.

The restaurant remains open for business.

Employees will be using alternate methods to process credit-card transactions until the computer experts finish their work.

Restaurant management thanked the police department, the U.S. Secret Service and others for helping identify the data breach.

"We are doing everything in our power to ensure that our systems are safe, secure and locked down," said Ben Magana, operating partner of the restaurant.

The earliest of the cases under investigation appears to date back to March, said Dee Dee Gunther, police spokeswoman, said last week.

The pattern became apparent earlier this month, when lending institutions contacted the department after noting that many of the credit-card fraud victims at some time over the past several months used their credit cards in Roseville.

Will Holbert was a lunch patron at Paul Martin's on Aug. 15 and may have had his credit card compromised.

During the first week in September he got a call from his credit union asking him if he had tried to withdraw $3,500 from Barclay's Bank in England.

"In fact, the money was withdrawn," he said. However, the withdrawal was not by Holbert.

"My stomach dropped down to the floor but I was reassured that I would not be held liable for the loss," Holbert said.

Holbert said he feels a bit vulnerable to credit-card fraud and assumes he was part of the credit-card comprise fraud.

"The credit-card company advised me to check my online account as frequently as possible," he said.

Police advise consumers who notice unauthorized or attempted unauthorized transactions to:

- Immediately notify the lending institution of the potential compromise.

- Ask the lending institution to block the old credit card and issue a new one with a new number.

- File a report with a local law enforcement agency.

- Continue to closely monitor credit-card transactions, and if fraud has occurred, place a fraud alert with the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

Although criminals are able to use stolen-credit card numbers temporarily, police said, financial institutions usually will reimburse customers for their losses and block the account.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Three people were arrested and 11 face criminal charges or administrative fines following a two-day undercover operation in Roseville conducted by the California Contractors State License Board.

The sting operation was carried out at a Roseville home last Wednesday and Thursday by members of the state board's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team, Amador and Placer county district attorney's offices, and the Roseville Police Department. Fraud team investigators posed as homeowners soliciting bids for landscaping, painting, concrete, roofing, framing and flooring work. Suspects who bid more than $500 for labor and materials received a notice to appear or an administrative citation, according to a Contractors State License Board news release.

By law, only state-licensed contractors are authorized to work on home improvement jobs valued at more than $500. Contractors also must place their state contractor license number in all advertisements. Unlicensed individuals may advertise and accept jobs valued at less than $500, but their ads must state that they are not licensed contractors. State law also requires licensees to purchase workers' compensation insurance for all their employees and themselves if they are roofing contractors.

Tony White, 53, of Fair Oaks, a flooring contractor, was arrested in the Roseville sting as a registered sex offender in possession of a concealed weapon. He also faces a misdemeanor count of contracting without a license.

Jerry Thomas Garza, 52, of Sacramento, a painting contractor, and Adrian Eric Littlefield, 33, of Auburn, each brought employees with no-bail arrest warrants, and those employees were arrested on those warrants, said Venus Stromberg, a spokeswoman for the Contractors State License Board. Garza received a notice to appear for allegedly contracting without a license and illegal advertising and Littlefield received a notice to appear for allegedly contracting without a license, illegal advertising and failure to carry workers' compensation insurance,

Also receiving notices to appear for alleged violations were:

• Lam Nguyen, 53, of Elk Grove, landscaping, contracting without a license, illegal advertising and soliciting excessive down payment.

• Ha Manh Nguyen, 41, Sacramento, flooring, contracting without a license, illegal advertising and failure to carry workers' compensation insurance.

• Brian Sean Fenno, 43, of Auburn, concrete, contracting without a license, illegal advertising and failure to carry workers' compensation insurance.

• Eduardo Gonzalez Lopez, 35, of Yuba City, landscaping, contracting without a license and illegal advertising.

• Jose Saul Chavez, 44, of Rescue, landscaping, contracting without a license and illegal advertising.

• Joe English, 28, of Antelope, framing and rough carpentry, contracting without a license and illegal advertising.

Arraignments for these individuals are scheduled Nov. 11 and 16 in Placer County Superior Court in Roseville.

Two people received administrative citations, which carry a fine. They are Max Espinosa Gomez, 41, of North Highlands, a concrete contractor, who was cited for contracting without a license, and John William Downs, 62, of Newcastle, framing and rough carpentry, who was cited for contracting without a license and illegal advertising.

The Contractors State License Board urges consumers to verify a contractor's license by checking online at www.cslb.ca.gov, or via the board's automated phone system at (800) 321-2752.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

A 41-year-old Roseville man has entered pleas of no contest Monday in response to counts of vehicular manslaughter as a result of a November drunken driving incident that killed Placer County residents.

Julian Manuel Martinez's drunk driving claimed the lives of Manuel Espinoza, 65, and his son David Espinoza, 27. Espinoza's wife Ededina, 62, was injured in the Nov. 1 crash.

Martinez was arrested after his vehicle drifted into oncoming traffic shortly after 1 p.m. while driving on Baseline Road west of Fiddyment Road. His vehicle collided head-on with Espinoza's.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A young mother was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment and drug charges after deputies found unclean conditions in her Auburn home.

jackson samantha m.jpgSamantha Jackson (left), 23, was arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment and drug charges Saturday after deputies were called to her north Auburn apartment. An anonymous caller reported children were playing unattended outside and their mother was doing drugs.

Inside Jackson's apartment, deputies found what they described as extremely dirty conditions. The floor was covered with old food, clothes and garbage.

Deputies said the woman's 4-year-old son was "very thin" and his legs were covered with sores. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Her 4-month-old daughter was found strapped in a car seat in an upstairs bedroom. The baby's crib was filled with garbage, clothes and a lawn chair.

Her 2-year-old daughter was also in the home.

Inside the woman's apartment deputies allegedly found a drug kit containing syringes and a spoon with white substance that later tests revealed to be methamphetamine.

The children were placed released to Child Protective Services.

"The anonymous caller who reported this situation is a true hero," said Placer County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Ausnow.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

bank of west suspect sept 2010.jpg1.jpg

By Bee Staff

The Placer County Sheriff's Office today released a photo of a bank robbery suspect who detectives say struck two Auburn banks in two weeks.

Friday, the suspect entered the Bank of the West in the 13400 block of Lincoln Way and told the teller he wanted to cash a check, according to a sheriff's news release. He then passed a note that demanded cash. The suspect was given money, and then walked out of the bank.

On Aug. 28, the same suspect robbed the Wells Fargo Bank on Grass Valley Highway in north Auburn.

The robber is described as 6 feet tall, 35 to 40 years old, with brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855. Or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest, call Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The attorney for former California Highway Patrol officer Ruben Salgado (left) asked in a Placer County Superior Court filing today for his client's preliminary hearing to be closed to the public.

Ruben Salgado[1].jpgSalgado's attorney presented a motion to the judge that asks that the public, including the news media, be banned from the preliminary hearing.

The judge did not rule on the matter, saying he would take up the matter Thursday morning before the preliminary hearing.

The hearing, which had been scheduled for today, was postponed until 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Department 44 in Roseville.

The motion presented by attorney Daniel A. Nicholson states that an open preliminary hearing with media coverage will preclude Salgado from getting a fair trial in Placer County.

Media coverage has already been intense, according to the document. News media has asked to take pictures of Salgado court proceedings and those requests have been granted over the objection of the defense, the motion states.

Prosecutor Doug Van Breeman said outside the courtroom that he will oppose the motion.

Salgado, 37, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he offered $10,000 to have someone murder a witness in an ongoing drug and weapons case.

Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, was arrested by the CHP on May 11 in Rocklin after he allegedly paid a confidential informant $100 for one-eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine, a court brief filed by the Placer County District Attorney's Office states.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Roseville Police Department is advising consumers to carefully monitor their banking and credit card transactions, citing an unusual number of local cases in which thieves have collected credit card numbers and used them to fraudulently make purchases.

"We believe there have been at least 200 victims who have experienced fraudulent credit card activity, and that number is growing," said Dee Dee Gunther, police department spokeswoman.

The earliest of the cases under investigation appears to date back to March, she said. The pattern became apparent last week, when lending institutions contacted the department after noting that many of the credit card fraud victims at some time over the past several months used their credit cards at Roseville restaurants that use the same third-party credit processing service.

Because the investigation is ongoing, Gunther said, police are not releasing the names of the restaurants involved. She said detectives are busy returning calls to victims to find out where and when their credit cards were used, and whether they are connected to this case.

Authorities don't know whether local individuals were involved in the fraud, or whether cyber-criminals elsewhere found a way to hack into the electronic process.

Police said its appears that victims' credit card numbers were compromised electronically at some point between the point of sale and the data processing service that relays transactions between merchants and their customers' lending institutions. When criminals collect credit card information electronically, they typically sell the information to other criminals, who then use the credit card number to manufacture false credit cards or to purchase items online.

Because of the scope of the investigations, the Roseville Police Department is working with the U.S. Secret Service, which conducts initial investigations into financial crimes, Gunther said. Several financial institutions have alerted their customers that their credit cards were, or may have been, compromised and have taken steps to protect the card holders.

"Although we don't have all the answers yet, we want to notify the public, especially diners in our area, to be especially vigilant about monitoring their credit cards for signs of fraud," Gunther said.

Police advise consumers who notice unauthorized, or attempted unauthorized transactions to:

* Immediately notify the lending institution of the potential compromise.

* Ask the lending institution to block the old credit card and issue a new one with a new number.

* File a report with a local law enforcement agency.

* Continue to closely monitor credit card transactions, and if fraud has occurred, place a fraud alert with the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Lending institutions may already have a plan to provide that service for their customer.

Although criminals are able to use stolen credit card numbers temporarily, police said, financial institutions usually will be able to reimburse customers for their losses and block the account from future intrusions using the compromised credit card numbers.

To contact the three major credit reporting bureaus call: Equifax, (800) 685-1111; Experian (888) 397-3742; and TransUnion, (800) 916-8800.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

Rocklin police are asking for the public's help in identifying three males who allegedly robbed a convenience store early this morning.

At 2:50 a.m., three men entered the convenience store at the 2100 block of Sunset Boulevard, displayed a handgun and took cigarettes and a small amount of money from the cash register, police said. Nobody was injured during the robbery.

Police said the suspects are described as three white males, 18-20 years old, thin and wearing black or dark-colored hooded sweatshirts and blue jeans.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Rocklin Police Department at (916) 625-5400.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A man sought in connection with bank robberies in Placer County and the San Francisco Bay Area has been arrested in Mono County.

Auburn police announced that John Robert Alexander, 56, of Half Moon Bay was arrested by Mono County sheriff's deputies without incident about 9 p.m. Wednesday after Auburn detectives and FBI agents learned that Alexander was in the Mono County area.

Alexander was wanted in connection with three Placer County bank robberies -- in Rocklin, Roseville and Auburn -- as well as seven in the Bay Area.

The Roseville Police Department received information that Alexander, who had ties to both the Bay Area and Placer County, was a suspect in the series of robberies, according to an Auburn Police Department news release. Auburn police detectives followed up on the lead and determined he was a suspect in the Aug. 27 robbery of the Bank of America on High Street in Auburn.

Alexander was booked into the Mono County Jail on an arrest warrant obtained by the San Jose Police Department related to that agency's investigation of the robbery series.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Miranda Simon
msimon@sacbee.com

The former owner of a Roseville spa was sentenced to 210 days in jail, after investigations showed that 40 of her customers in 2008 were either billed double on their credit cards for spa services, or were charged for services and products they didn't order, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney.

Heather Lynn Collins, 35, who owned Radiance Medi-Spa, was also ordered to pay back $10,500 to the customers. The Placer County Sheriff's Office investigated complaints about the spa and arrested Collins on Feb. 6, 2009.

Collins, of Lincoln, appeared for sentencing at Placer County Superior Court on Sept. 2, when she was placed on formal probation for three years. She pleaded no contest to two felony counts of identity theft.

Call The Bee's Miranda Simon, (916) 321-1119.

By Miranda Simon
msimon@sacbee.com

A pot-bellied man in a tan camouflage ball cap robbed Premier West Bank on Granite Drive in Rocklin about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Rocklin police said a teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash to the man before he fled.

The Rocklin Police Department is seeking information from anyone who my have witnessed the robbery or seen the suspect outside of the bank or in the immediately area of the bank Friday afternoon.

Officers described him as white, 35 to 40 years old, 5-foot-6 to 6 feet and about 175 pounds. In addition to the ball cap, he was wearing a brown T-shirt without a logo, tan cargo shorts, black strap sandals, and he has a tattoo on the inside of his right ankle.

Call The Bee's Miranda Simon, (916) 321-1119.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

An Orangevale man is suspected of burglarizing a home in Granite Bay and stealing a car in Sacramento County.

clip_image002.jpgDavid Schuster (photo left), 41, was arrested Thursday night by Placer County sheriff's deputies.

Deputies were called to a home burglary report in Granite Bay at 10:45 p.m. after residents on Lakeshore Drive were awakened by a stranger in their home.

The burglar fled the home and law enforcement set up a perimeter around the neighborhood. Deputies found Schuster riding a bicycle on Mooney Road, according to a Sheriff's Department press release.

The Lakeshore Drive homeowners identified Schuster as the stranger who earlier was in their home, deputies said.

Deputies allege that Schuster had an ignition key that matched a stolen vehicle parked on Mooney Road.

The Sacramento County owners of the vehicle later retrieved the car from deputies in Granite Bay.

Schuster was booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle and impaired driving on a bicycle.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

The Placer County Sheriff Office's is taking reservations for its Community Awareness Academy, which offers an inside look at the law enforcement agency.

Attendees are asked to attend all eight classes, each of which covers a different topic, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings, beginning Oct. 5 and ending Oct. 28. Participants will hear from members of the department's special units and take "field trips" to the Placer County Jail and morgue, 911 dispatch center, as well as the air operations hangar.

Presentations will be made by air operations, Search and Rescue, the bomb squad, the Special Enforcement Team, the marine unit, investigations, hostage negotiators and the drug task force. There will also be a demonstration by members of the K-9 team.

Classes will be 6 to 9 p.m. in the Community Room at the Placer County Sheriff headquarters in the Auburn Justice Center, 2929 Richardson Drive.

Attendees must be at least 18 years old.

The academy is intended to provide the residents of Placer County with an overview of the Sheriff Office's functions, policies and procedures, as well as getting them involved in their community.

To reserve a spot, call Community Services Officer Lynn Harrison at (916) 652-2419 or

e-mail her at lharriso@placer.ca.gov.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Placer County sheriff's detectives have released photographs of a woman who they say may be connected to a big burglary in the Roseville area.

The residential burglary in early July resulted in the theft of shoes, clothing, jewelry, make-up, sunglasses, purses, a video game box, televisions, a gun, checks and a 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

burg susp august 2010.JPGOn July 5, the day after the burglary, detectives said the woman in the photographs (left and below) bought items at a Best Buy store in Natomas with a check taken from the home.

She used a California driver's license for identification, but it was later found not to belong to her.

Detectives said the woman is heavy-set, has brown hair and a large tattoo of an eagle on her left upper arm and small bird footprints on the top of her right shoulder. She was wearing a green top.

Detectives believe more than one person committed the burglary.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Jason Doolittle at (530) 889-7844. Or tipsters can remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward by calling Placer County Crime Stoppers, (800) 923-8191.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

A 46-year-old man who engaged a Placer County Sheriff's Office SWAT team in a gunbattle in Newcastle in 2006 was found guilty today of 10 felony counts of attempted murder and 10 felony counts of assault with a firearm on peace officers.

virgophoto.jpgThe jury also found David Allan Virgo (photo left) guilty of two felony counts of being a felon in possession of firearms, according to a news release from the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Despite the fact that 50 to 70 shots were exchanged between the officers and Virgo, who was barricaded inside a home, no one was hit by the gunfire. Virgo eventually surrendered when a teargas canister was shot into the home, the release states.

The jury's 22-count verdict culminated a month-long trial for Virgo in Placer County Superior Court. The defendant, a resident of Applegate, faces at least 35 years in a state prison, said prosecutor Jeff Wilson of the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

"After these verdicts, I anticipate that Mr. Virgo will never get out of prison and never get another chance to kill a peace officer," Wilson said outside the courtroom.

During the trial, it was established that Virgo, who had a history of weapons violations and who was considered by his parole officer as "unpredictable," was being sought by law enforcement officers on an arrest warrant for assaulting another man and threatening the person with a handgun, Wilson said.

On the night of Oct. 18, 2006, Placer County sheriff's officers tracked Virgo to a home on Happy Hollow Lane in Newcastle. The sheriff's Special Enforcement Team, similar to a SWAT team, responded and 10 members of the unit surrounded the home, the release states.

Leaders of the SET team were aware of Virgo's reputation for being unpredictable and that he'd once boasted of being an enforcer for a Hell's Angels unit known as the "Filthy Few," according to the release.

But before the SET members could make peaceful contact with Virgo, another man who was staying at the house was outside on a phone call and spotted two of the SET members approaching the home.

Despite the two officers' attempts to explain that they were from the sheriff's office and were looking for Virgo, the man backed away and went into the house to warn others in the home that officers were outside.

Soon after, shots were heard coming from inside the house. Officers responded by shooting out a floodlight that illuminated the outside yard. During subsequent exchange of gunfire, five unarmed persons came out the front door and crawled to safety, the release states.

Virgo remained alone in the home exchanging shots with the officers.

Officers testified that Virgo could be heard yelling that he had explosives and that he would "blow the place up. I'll kill everyone." But the lobbing of teargas into the home ended the standoff.

Wilson, the prosecutor, praised the SET members.

"Just because our peace officers anticipate that they may be shot at in the line of duty does not mean we should tolerate the defendant's behavior," Wilson said. "Obviously, the jury agreed.

"The evidence presented at trial showed the SET members demonstrated the highest level of professionalism and expertise in bringing a dangerous situation to a conclusion without serious injury to anyone," Wilson said. "They should be commended for doing an exceptional job."

The trial jury deliberated for one full day on Tuesday, reaching their verdicts late that afternoon, the release states.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Colleen Nichols ordered them to return this morning to announce their decision.

In addition to finding Virgo guilty on the multiple counts of attempted murder and assault with a firearm on peace officers, the jury determined that a total of 50 special allegations that the defendant used firearms and acted with premeditation were true.

The special allegations could enhance the sentence that Nichols will hand out on Nov. 19 when Virgo, who is in custody in the county jail without bail, returns to court for sentencing.

By Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

The Placer County Sheriff's Coroner's Division is investigating the drowning of a 2-year-old girl from Granite Bay that occurred this morning.

Dena Erwin, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said that the child's death does appear accidental, but it's standard procedure to conduct a coroner's investigation anytime there's a death.

The victim, Isabelle Rose Goforth, was discovered missing from her home on Fallsbrook Court around 10 a.m. this morning. She was found unconscious and in critical condition after neighbors pulled the toddler from the water.

Lawrence Bettencourt, a spokesman for South Placer Fire district said that the girl was found in the nearby pool minutes after her family reported her missing. CPR was preformed at the scene by medical officials, he said.

She was pronounced dead at Sutter Roseville Medical Center at 10:48 a.m., Erwin said.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

felipeortega.jpgA man who carjacked one vehicle and tried to stop another by firing a gunshot has been given more than 40 years in prison.

Felipe Ortega (photo right), 28, of Sacramento, received a sentence of 43 years after pleading no contest to carjacking and three counts of assault with a semiautomatic weapon in Placer County Superior Court.

His sentence was increased by admissions of using a firearm and having a previous felony strike, according to a Placer County District Attorney's office press release.

Ortega, considered the leader of a trio who were all recently sentenced, twice drove a black Lincoln Navigator to follow customers from the Tropicana Club on Arden Way in Sacramento late at night.

On Nov. 22, 2008, Ortega followed a pickup from the nightclub to North Highlands. The Navigator made the truck stop and the driver was forced into the SUV. A masked Ortega then drove off in the truck.

The victim was later released unharmed.

Eight day later, the Navigator followed another vehicle from the nightclub, this time to Rocklin. During an apparent attempt to carjack the vehicle, Ortega fired a shot at the motorist, striking the vehicle.

Rocklin police stopped the Navigator. Ortega and two others were arrested.

A Sacramento County Sheriff's detective who was aware of the North Highlands carjacking, read in The Bee about the Rocklin incident and connected the two crimes.

At Ortega's Friday sentencing, the woman in the Rocklin case testified that it was difficult to be in court with a person who wanted to take her life.

In Spanish, she said: "May God pardon you because I cannot." Ortega, facing the judge, showed no emotion.

Also sentenced Friday for her part in the escapade was Mirna Corral, 36, to four years probation and one year in county jail for felony robbery, assault and receiving stolen property.

And on Monday, Omar Lozano Villicana, 20, was sentenced after pleading no contest to conspiracy and assault. He was given one year in jail and placed on four years probation.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A house in Rocklin suffered extensive damage but the residents were able to escape the burning home thanks to neighbors.

The fire broke out in the 3400 block of Midas Avenue about 11 p.m. When Rocklin fire department crews got to the house flames were destroying a room addition next to the garage.

The fire had also spread into the attic. The home sustained significant damage as heavy tile on the roof fell into the structure.

Two people in the home, alerted to the fire by neighbors, were able to safely get out of the residence, said Battalion Chief Tim Palmer.

Firefighters were able to salvage a good portion of the homeowner's property.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

A bank robber who rode off on a bicycle is being sought by Placer County Sheriff's detectives.

The man -- wearing a long-sleeved purple shirt, black knit cap and sunglasses -- robbed the Wells Fargo Bank on Saturday in north Auburn, authorities say.

He walked into the bank on Grass Valley Highway and Bell Road about 1 p.m. and handed the teller a note saying he had a bomb.

bank rob suspect2 WF bank aug 28 2010.JPG

Then he rode away on a bike with the money.

Anyone with information should call Placer County Sheriff's Detective Jim Hudson at (530) 889-7855.

To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call Placer County Crime Stoppers at (800) 923-8191.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

The Placer County Sheriff's department has found a gold miner reported missing since last Sunday in the Sailor Flat area of Tahoe National Forest.

Gary Davis, 65, of Sacramento, entered the mountainous region at the north fork of the American River on Aug. 20, looking for gold, Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. Troy Minton-Sander said today.

Davis parked his car at a trailhead and walked into the mountainous area, Minton-Sander said.

He was last seen on Sunday by another hiker, who noticed that Davis didn't have much water or food left, Minton-Sander said.

Davis told the hiker to send help if Davis was not out of the area by Tuesday, Minton-Sander said. Based on that information, Davis' friends contacted the Sheriff's department Thursday, he said.

About 10 search and rescue personnel were dropped into the area by helicopter Friday morning and found Davis at his vehicle, Minton-Sander said.

Davis had climbed out of a canyon and reached his vehicle, but would not have been able to drive himself out of the area because the terrain was too dangerous, Minton-Sander said.

Davis, tired and likely dehydrated, also would not have been able to make the three- to four-hour hike out of the area, Minton-Sander said.

The Sailor Flat area is popular with gold miners and hikers, but requires some planning and experience to navigate, Minton-Sander said.

"You're right up on top of the Sierras and you can get yourself in trouble in a hurry," he said.

Davis had one small gold nugget, Minton-Sander said.

Call The Bee's Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

About 30 people gathered outside Roseville's Bill Santucci Justice Center this morning to protest what they called "injustice" in the Placer County court system.

Lead by the Rev. Ashiya Odeye of the Sacramento-based Justice Reform Coalition, the group expressed concerns about Placer County judges, the county's use of a for-profit law firm as the public defender, and perceived inequities in the county's family court system.

Placer County uses Richard A. Ciummo & Associates to handle public defender duties. The firm has contracts with several California counties.

"They give very poor service to the people," Odeye said. "The less they have to spend, the more they make."

In a brief phone interview from his Madra office, Richard Ciummo said he supports the demonstrators' right to protest, though he said claims made by the group have been investigated and found to be baseless.

"We provide a quality service," he said.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

Chris Cochran, assistant director of Marketing and Public Affairs, California Office of Traffic Safety, answered this question and others about DUI checkpoints for Sacto 9-1-1.

Q: Why do police tip the public about checkpoints ahead of time?

A: There are two reasons for advance publicity. It is a 'best practice' based on court CHECKPOINT[1].JPGrulings and effectiveness. The State Supreme Court said that advance publicity reduces intrusiveness of the stop at a sobriety checkpoint. The publicity and high visibility adds to their primary deterrence effect.

Q: Why are police doing so many?

A: Virtually all nighttime DUI checkpoints are funded by the state Office of Traffic Safety. We have increased funding for checkpoints and raised their number by approximately 47 percent. Last year there were 1,740 checkpoints statewide. This year we anticipate 2,500. We are doing them because they work, dropping fatality rates up to 25 percent. They save lives better than any other single tactic. That's the bottom line.

Q: How many drunken drivers are caught in the checkpoints?

A: The number varies from city to city, checkpoint to checkpoint. Usually between five and 15 in an urban area. But the number of arrests is not the measure of success. The measure is whether the number of fatalities and injuries declines in the coming years if checkpoints are carried out often and effectively enough.

Q: Do the checkpoints serve a secondary function, such as preventing others from drunk driving?

A: For those who don't ever drink and drive, it reiterates to them that DUI is a dangerous, socially unacceptable behavior. For those who might be contemplating a night out drinking, it serves to warn them ahead of time of the dangers of drinking and driving as well as the consequences of being caught. They then have the opportunity to arrange for a designated sober driver.

Q: Do you have a ballpark figure of the number of checkpoints each year in the Sacramento area?

A: About 70 for the Roseville, Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and unincorporated areas.

Q: Home much money is allocated to the program and when will it run out?

A: The Office of Traffic Safety will spend about $20 million on DUI checkpoints in the state for the year. The amount allocated varies from year to year, but we anticipate it will be in the same ballpark next year.

- Bill Lindelof

By Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department will run a DUI/driver's license checkpoint on Friday from 9 p.m. until approximately 2 a.m. at an unannounced location, according to a Police Department news release.

The undisclosed site for the checkpoint is one where there have been a significant number of DUI arrests and collisions, the release states.

The Police Department's most recent checkpoint on Aug. 21 resulted in five DUI arrests and several other drivers cited for not possessing a valid driver's license.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two early morning accidents involving big rigs along Interstate 80 in Placer County are now clear, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP reports that an accident about 1 a.m. involved two big rigs on the Rocklin Road onramp to westbound I-80. A portion of the onramp was closed for several hours.

One big rig spilled its load of magazines in the accident.

Another crash along I-80 in Auburn near Bowman Road involved a big rig hitting a car. The big rig driver continued to drive and is being sought by the CHP.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Rancho Cordova couple who left an infant in a car while they gambled at the Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln have been placed on four years probation and sentenced to 60 days in jail for felony child abuse.

However, Placer County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Penney said that Thuan Huy Nguyen (photo bottom left) and Panfila Phu Phan (photo bottom right), both 27, can apply for alternative sentencing, such as a work project, to fulfill the 60-day jail term.

In addition, if they successfully follow their probation, including a mandatory one-year parenting class, they could have the felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor after 18 months, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Nguyen and Phan were arrested April 13 after they left their 7-week-old daughter unattended in their vehicle in the casino parking garage for about 2-1/2 hours. A security guard discovered the infant in the vehicle.

The two pleaded no contest to the felony charge on June 30 and issued an apology that was read in court by their attorney, Anthony Palik, who said both were remorseful and knew they had made a bad decision.

The baby, now 6 months old, is in the custody of her grandmother. The parents have visitation rights.

The parents could become eligible to regain custody if they continue to comply with conditions of their probation and Child Protection Services in Sacramento County, according to prosecutor Joe McInerney of the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

form mt:asset-id="11030" class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-image" style="display: inline;">nguyen thuan huyt.jpg phan panfila p.jpg

By Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department is accepting applications from Roseville community members for Citizen's Police Awareness Academy, according to a Police Department news release.

The academy will be from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights Sept. 14-23.

During the academy, students will be introduced to the concepts of community oriented policing and problem solving, learn about volunteer opportunities, and will meet representatives from the investigation unit, the records unit, the K9 unit, among other academy offerings.

Roseville's Citizen Police Academy is open to those who are at least 18 years old and who live or work in the Roseville area.

For more information, please call Crime Prevention Coordinator Rob Baquera at (916)774-5057, or click here to download an application. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The man who broke into and served alcohol at a Penryn bar he didn't own after it went out of business has been sentenced.

KEVIE.jpgTravis Lloyd Kevie (left), 29, was sentenced last week in Placer Superior Court after pleading no contest to selling liquor without a license, a misdemeanor.

He was sentenced last Aug. 18 to 15 days in jail, fined $160 and ordered to stay away from the Valencia Club unless lawfully employed there.

The judge ordered him to report to jail Oct. 19.

The Valencia Club, in Penryn, closed in June for financial reasons. Kevie, from Newcastle, surreptitiously reopened in July and proceeded to serve alcohol to unsuspecting customers -- about 30 of them a day.

Kevie subsequently was in an Auburn Journal newspaper article as the watering hole's new owner and was quoted as saying his takeover of the establishment was a "dream come true."

But Placer County sheriff's Detective Jim Hudson recognized Kevie from the article as a transient well known to authorities. He subsequently was arrested on suspicion of burglary and selling alcohol without a license.

A large amount of alcohol and cash were confiscated from the bar on Taylor Road, deputies said.

Kevie knew of the bar and its plight because he was hired as part of a clean-up crew after it was closed.

Deputies said Kevie admitted to breaking into the building and placing an "Open" sign in the window. Soon, he was pouring for thirsty customers, deputies said.

Playing the savvy business owner, Kevie reinvested profits from drink sales back into the business: He started with a six-pack of beer purchased from a convenience store across the street and used the proceeds from customers to buy more alcohol, deputies said.

"He built up to 10 to 12 bottles of hard liquor and a couple of cases of beer," Hudson said at the time of Kevie's arrest.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Previous coverage:

Man lives dream of running bar in Sierra foothill town, but gets arrested - July 22, 2010

Ruben Salgado.JPGBy Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

An evidence hearing in the case against former California Highway Patrol officer Ruben Salgado was postponed today because several key witnesses were unavailable.

Ruben Cesar Salgado, 37, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he offered $10,000 to have someone murder a witness in an ongoing drug and weapons case.

Salgado, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit, sat handcuffed to a table for half an hour as defense and prosecuting attorneys met in Judge James D. Garbolino's chambers at Auburn's Historic Courthouse.

The proceeding is expected to resume Sept. 10 in Roseville.

Salgado, a 12-year CHP veteran, was arrested by the CHP on May 11 in Rocklin after he allegedly paid a confidential informant $100 for 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine, a court brief filed by the Placer County District Attorney's Office states.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A 29-year-old man was arrested Tuesday evening in the Foothill Farms area following a vehicle pursuit that began in Roseville.

Sgt. Maria Richardson of the Roseville Police Department said police received a call at 4:43 p.m. regarding a disturbance at a residence. The caller said her sister's ex-boyfriend was a wanted fugitive.

Police spotted the man, identified as Andrew Jones, on a stolen motorcycle and pursued him on Interstate 80 into Sacramento County. On Everest Way, northwest of I-80 and south of Elkhorn Boulevard, he dumped the motorcycle and police began searching the neighborhood for him.

Jones eventually was located at a home in the 6400 block of Everest Way. Two other adults, a man and a woman, were in the house. Richardson said police initially believed Jones did not know the residents, but further investigation indicated they may have been acquainted.

The man and woman were evacuated from the home, and Jones was taken into custody about 7 p.m. with the help of a Sacramento Police Department K-9 unit.

Richardson said she did not know where Jones lived. He was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, felony evasion, burglary and false imprisonment.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A nurse at a senior living facility in Roseville has been arrested on suspicion of stealing medications from residents.

Marlene Sandra Delp, 63, was arrested by Roseville police at The Terraces of Roseville on Sunrise Avenue where she was a resident registered nurse. She is accused of stealing numerous packages of prescription medication from residents and in some cases giving them over-the-counter pain medication in place of their prescribed painkillers.

Jackie Budrovic, vice president of Westmont Living, the La Jolla-based firm that manages The Terraces, said company officials were conducting a routine audit at the facility on Wednesday and staff members reported discrepancies in medication records.

She said that Delp had worked at The Terraces of Roseville for about a year and oversaw nurses dispensing medications to residents.

Budrovic said Westmont Living officials immediately reported their suspicions to Roseville police.

Lt. Mike Doane said detectives met with officials and searched Delp's apartment at senior living facility. In her apartment, they found dozens of packages of medications prescribed to 28 different people, including 19 residents of the senior care facility.

Many of the medications were narcotic painkillers. Doane said detectives are still trying to determine who the other nine people are and how those prescription medications came to be in Delp's possession.

Delp was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of burglary and elder abuse and held in Placer County jail until her arraignment.

She pleaded not-guilty to the charges Friday in Placer County Superior Court and was released on her own recognizance with a promise to appear, Doane said.

A restraining order prohibits her from returning to the senior living facility.

The Terraces of Roseville provides assisted living services to about 100 residents, Budrovic said.

"We're all very saddened and shocked by this," she said.

Doane said anyone who has a family member at the facility who believes they may have been harmed by not receiving prescribed medication or by receiving an over-the-counter substitute, should call the Police Department's vice narcotics unit at (916) 774-5000.

Police advise people with concerns about the well-being or care of an elder or dependent adult who lives in Placer County to call Placer County Access at (888) 886-5401.

Those with dependent elders or dependent adults in other counties should report concerns to that county's adult protective services agency.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Theft of copper wire last night at an Orangevale Montessori school will send students home early.

The theft of copper from the old Thomas Coleman Elementary campus, 6545 Beech Ave., is the fourth such crime this week at a San Juan Unified School District campus.

Thieves took a couple hundred feet of cable that went to air conditioning units on one of the wings of the school, a district spokesman said. The district rents out the wing to California Montessori Project charter school.

Administrators will send the Montessori students home after lunch today. Repairs were to be completed late today, which will allow students to have air conditioning on Wednesday.

The district operates a pre-school program on campus, which was not affected by the theft. Those students still have air conditioning.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A North Highlands man was arrested Sunday evening in Auburn after police received a report of a physical assault occurring in a moving vehicle.

An off-duty Placer County sheriff's deputy noticed a man hitting a female passenger in the face with his fist about 6:15 p.m., according to an Auburn Police Department news release. The deputy followed the vehicle, called the Police Department and kept the dispatcher informed of the vehicle's location.

Officer Stan Hamelin conducted a traffic stop and detained the driver, identified as Petr Pekun, 31. During the investigation Hamelin learned that Pekun allegedly hit the passenger, a woman from the Lincoln area, and threatened to kill her.

At one point, while the deputy was following Pekun's car, the woman opened the car door in an effort to jump out but was unable to do so because of the vehicle's speed.

Police said the woman suffered minor injuries as a result of the alleged assault, but declined medical treatment.

Pekun was booked into Placer County jail on suspicion of kidnapping, domestic violence and making criminal threats.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

antelope_meadows_aug_2010.JPGBy Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police are asking for help in catching copper thieves.

Thieves over the past several weeks have cut and stolen copper electrical wire to classrooms at Oakmont High School in Roseville, Dry Creek Elementary School west of Roseville and Antelope Meadows Elementary school in Antelope.

Police released security photos of a suspect involved in the theft of copper wire from Antelope Meadows Elementary in the early morning hours of Aug. 7 and Aug. 8.

In addition to the copper thefts, both the Roseville Joint Union High School District and the Eureka Union School District had gasoline and radios stolen from buses.

Anyone who observes thefts is asked to call 911. To provide information about thefts that have already occurred, call WeTip at (800) 782-7463.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

antelope_meadows_fence_aug_2010.JPG

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A fire burned up to the fences of a subdivision at Roseville's western edge Friday before it was contained, allowing residents who were evacuated to return to their homes.

Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said Friday evening that the fire burned 434 acres of grassland. Approximately 200 firefighters from Cal Fire, the city of Roseville and agencies from throughout Placer and Sacramento counties battled the blaze.

Berlant said the fire started about 3 p.m. at Baseline Road and Watt Avenue, and the wind pushed it toward the subdivision.

Roseville police evacuated residents of 15 homes on Hayward Court, Overton Way and Littleton Lane. No structures were damaged, but Berlant said fences on the edge of the subdivision burned.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Six juveniles have been taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries after their car went into a ditch off Rollins Lake Road near Colfax.

The single-vehicle accident occurred about 2 p.m. on Rollins Lake Road between Highway 174 and the Long Ravine Campground.

Officer Steve Parr of the California Highway Patrol's Gold Run office said the six juveniles were a Toyota Camry, which was traveling at an unsafe speed along the winding road. The driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a ditch.

One victim was taken by CHP helicopter and another by a Calstar air ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Parr said. The other four were transported by ground ambulance.

Helicopters were called in because it was initially believed some of the victims might have suffered major injuries, Parr said.

Parr said he did not know where the youths live.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.


View Larger Map

By Bee Staff

Sacramento Valley law enforcement agencies issued nearly 600 citations for cell-phone use to drivers on Wednesday.

Dozens of agencies participated in the second zero tolerance day this month for cell-phone use and texting while driving.

The California Highway Patrol reported today that 588 citations were used for cell-phone use while driving and four for texting while driving. On Aug. 10, the first crackdown day, 345 citations were issued for cell phones and seven for texting.

A similar effort was made in Contra Costa County where law enforcement agencies issued more than 300 citations to motorists caught violating the hands-free driving law - including one who was caught twice within three hours - during a two-day crackdown, the California Highway Patrol told the Contra Costa Times.

The Sacramento Valley crackdown was conducted by the CHP and by police departments including the Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Roseville, Galt, Twin Rivers, Lodi, Ripon, Rancho Cordova, South Lake Tahoe departments and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.

Cell-phone violations carry a minimum fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for the second. When court costs and other fees are added, the total can exceed $100 for a first offense, the CHP said.

Cell phones are the leading cause statewide of crashes by inattentive drivers, the CHP said.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Auburn police have arrested two people who are accused of extorting money from a local restaurant owner.

Larry Warren Bosworth, 39, and Rebecca Lynn Bosworth, 36, both of Auburn, were booked into Placer County Jail this afternoon on suspicion of conspiracy to commit extortion and extortion.

Police said the Bosworths contacted the owner of a local Chinese restaurant claiming that the take-out food they bought from the restaurant two weeks ago was contaminated with a cockroach. They allegedly told the restaurant owner that they would not file a report with the Department of Health and Human Services or contact the news media if the victim agreed to pay them a large sum of cash.

The victim agreed to meet the Bosworths at a local coffee shop to discuss their claims. During the meeting, the Bosworths again requested money in exchange for not filing a complaint, according to a Police Department news release.

The victim told them that she needed to discuss the matter with her husband and would need time to decide whether to pay the money. The Bosworths gave the victim a short time to make a decision. The victim then contacted the Auburn Police Department about the legality of the Bosworths' demands.

Working with a police detective, the victim called the Bosworths and agreed to meet their demands. She was given a short time to meet them with a check, and the Bosworths agreed not to file their complaint or notify the news media in return for the money. They also said they would provide the victim with all the "paperwork" they had in regard to their complaint.

Detectives conducted a surveillance of the coffee shop where the victim was to meet the Bosworths and watched as the victim completed the transaction with the Bosworths and left the scene. The Bosworths then were arrested without incident.

Police ask anyone who may know of similar activities involving the Bosworths to call Detective Adam Cline at (530) 823-4237, ext. 238.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two Rocklin homes were damaged and a firefighter was injured early this afternoon in a two-alarm fire that started outside a shed between the residences.

Rocklin Fire Chief Bill Mikesell said the fire was reported at 1:13 p.m. in the 4200 block of Slate Court off Midas Avenue near the Sunset Whitney Country Club.

Mikesell said the fire began outside a shed but quickly spread to the homes, burning the roof and attic of one house and damaging the exterior of the other.

One firefighter suffered deep muscle injuries when he fell from the roof onto the patio cover and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Mikesell said no one was home at either residence when the fire started.

Rocklin firefighters were battling a grass fire near Interstate 80 when the structure fire was reported and had to travel across town to reach the homes.

"So there was a delayed response and the fire had a bit of a head start," Mikesell said.

It took about 30 firefighters more than an hour and 15 minutes to extinguish the fire, and crews were still on scene late this afternoon. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Rocklin Fire Department was assisted by firefighters from Lincoln, Roseville and Loomis.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Truckee police are asking for help in solving a string of burglaries.

On Monday morning, police were called to the Sierra Meadows subdivision on a report of a home burglary. Officers chased and arrested three suspects.

Police arrested Rogelio Espinoza, 23, of Truckee, on suspicion of home burglary, auto burglary and conspiracy. Luis Gonzales, 18, was arrested on suspicion of home burglary and conspiracy.

In addition, a juvenile was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of home burglary and possession of drug paraphernalia. A fourth person got away.

Police suspect that the same men were involved in numerous auto burglaries in Truckee. Anyone with information on the suspect who fled or other information on the burglaries is asked to call police at (530) 550-2323.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

gb 08-17-10 profile.JPGBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police are looking for a man (right photo) who robbed the River City Bank on Tuesday morning.

The man entered the bank at 3992 Douglas Blvd. about 11:40 a.m. and handed the teller a note demanding money. He took an undisclosed amount of cash and left on foot, heading toward the Safeway shopping center, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.

The man was described as black, in his 30s with black braids or dreadlocks in a ponytail. He was wearing a baseball cap with a logo on the front, a gold long-sleeved dress shirt and black tie, black slacks and a fanny pack.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Roseville man who purposely crashed his car into an oncoming vehicle, injuring the driver, has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Rickey Scott Molina, 22, who had vowed to kill himself by driving into oncoming traffic, was sentenced Aug. 12 by Placer County Superior Court Judge Robert P. McElhany. Molina agreed to a plea arrangement for the assault by vehicle and other offenses, a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release states.

Molina's attorney, Jess Bedore, requested probation for his client. He said Molina had realized while in jail that he has mental health issues. Bedore argued that anger management classes and continuing therapy, rather than prison, would allow Molina to be rehabilitated.

Judge McElhany, however, said he was not satisfied that such measures would protect public safety.

In addition to the Dec. 6, 2008, incident in which he was arrested for driving into oncoming traffic, Molina was arrested in separate cases that involved unlawful sex with a 17-year-old girl and vandalism.

In the driving incident, Molina, who was reportedly angry over a breakup with his girlfriend, told another person that he was going to kill himself. He then got into his car, drove onto Lead Hill Boulevard and veered into oncoming traffic. He clipped one car, then smashed into a second vehicle, injuring a woman driver.

Molina eventually pleaded guilty to three assault charges for the driving incident and to the unlawful sex and vandalism counts.

The parents of Molina's ex-girlfriend told the judge at the sentencing that they feared for their daughter and entire family if Molina were allowed to be free on probation, the news release states. The woman's father said his daughter received phone calls from Molina even though the defendant was in jail and a restraining order prohibited him from contacting the woman.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Roseville police will target drunk drivers Saturday night with a sobriety checkpoint set up some place within city limits.

While the location is not being revealed, the intention is plain: arrest the intoxicated driver.

"DUI arrests can be embarrassing and expensive," said Roseville Police Chief Mike Blair. "If you're drinking, hand your keys over to a designated sober driver, or call a taxi or sober friend for a ride home."

The department's sobriety checkpoint last Friday on Washington Boulevard resulted in the arrest of a driver for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and being in possession of methamphetamine. Six other drivers were arrested or cited for not possessing a valid driver's license.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Newcastle father and son each have been charged with one misdemeanor count of battery in an alleged road-rage incident involving KFBK sportscaster Pat Walsh.

The Placer County District Attorney's Office reported today that John Patrick O'Neill, 51, and his son, Cory Taylor O'Neill, 23, have been charged with the unlawful use of force or violence against Walsh in a June 1 incident on Interstate 80 near Applegate.

Walsh alleged that as he traveled on Interstate 80 the two men in a vehicle that was towing a car dolly drove up quickly behind him. He accused the men of yelling at him, then cutting off his vehicle and attacking him when he pulled off the road.

The men are to be arraigned at Sept. 14 in Roseville.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Phillip Reese
preese@sabee.com

A 19-year-old man died Friday night when a vehicle struck him as he skateboarded down a steep hill in Auburn.

Nicholas Brown of Elk Grove was swerving across Auburn-Folsom Road south of Indian Hill Road about 9 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a Toyota pickup truck, according to Sgt. Dale Hutchins of the Auburn Police Department. Both the truck and the skateboarder were heading south.

"It's a pretty steep decline," said Hutchins.

The accident is still under investigation, but no citations were issued at the scene, Hutchins said. No one in the pickup truck was injured.

Call The Bee's Phillip Reese, (916) 321-1137.

By Tony Bizjak
tbizjak@sacbee.com

The two men killed in a small plane crash in Placer County have been identified by sheriff's officials as Central Coast residents.

Bryan Grant McCullah, 31, of Santa Cruz and Gabriel Alexander Suarez, 21, of Watsonville, died in a crash in rugged mountains near Emigrant Gap. The crash remains were discovered Friday afternoon by a hiker.

Federal Aviation Administration identified the owner of the single-engine Piper Cherokee Arrow as a Monterey Bay Aviation.

The flight's intended destination was not immediately known, an FAA official said.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Pine Grove man was arrested this afternoon in Auburn on suspicion of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

Charles Wayne Burghy, 44, is accused of contacting a 16-year-old boy via a personal ad on a commonly used sales and social networking website with the intent of meeting and engaging in illegal sexual acts with the youth, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.

Burghy then allegedly communicated with the youth through text messaging and solicited the teenager to perform sexual acts. Burghy also is accused of sending nude, explicit pictures of himself to the victim via electronic messaging.

On Thursday, an Auburn Police Department detective, posing as a minor, began communicating with Burghy via text messages, and Burghy arranged to meet him in Auburn today to engage in various sexual acts.

Detectives and patrol officers set up surveillance of the arranged meeting area and arrested Burghy without incident in a shopping center parking lot in the 400 block of Grass Valley Highway.

Burghy was arrested on suspicion of sending harmful matter with the intent of seducing a minor, contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense, and employing or using a minor to perform prohibited acts.

Police ask anyone who knows of similar acts or contacts with Burghy to call Detective Adam Cline at (530) 823-4237, ext. 238.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

The Placer County Sheriff's Department is working to identify two people who were found dead this afternoon inside a crashed airplane near Emigrant Gap.

The plane, a single-engine Piper Cherokee Arrow, initially was believed to have departed from Watsonville for Auburn, but a Federal Aviation spokesman said later information indicated the pilot had departed from Auburn. His intended destination is not known.

The FAA's online registry identifies the registered owner as Monterey Bay Aviation Inc. of Wastsonville, which does business as United Flight. A representative of the firm could not be reached for comment.

The plane was found by a hiker in a rugged, mountainous area, and officials said they don't know what time the crash occurred.

The Sheriff's Department received information from the hiker at 1:43 p.m.

A California Highway Patrol airplane was able to confirm that the aircraft was down, with two fatalities, and deputies arrived at the crash scene a short time later, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Names of the victims have not been released pending notification of family.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Placer County probation officers say a follow-up visit to a high-risk probationer on Monday yielded a 12-gun weapons cache.

Probation officers last Friday made a routine check of Robert Bewley, who is living in Roseville, then followed up with a surprise visit Monday, said Steve Pecor, chief probation officer.

Officers found 12 firearms, several hundred rounds of ammunition and a small club. One of the guns was a powerful Tec-DC9, Pecor said. Another firearm had been reported stolen in Roseville.

Bewley is being held in the Placer County jail for the parole violation. He faces three additional charges of being a felon possessing firearms, ammunition and a deadly weapon. Bail was set at $40,000.

"Everything seemed to be fine. Everything seemed to be good," Pecor said of the Friday visit. The follow-up visit was made in an attempt to catch Bewley off guard.

Pecor said the extra visit was possible because of a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, which provides extra resources to keep an eye on high-risk DUI offenders. Bewley was convicted of DUI causing great bodily injury and assaulting an officer during his arrest.

Pecor said the Monday visit was more extensive. The weapons were found in an SUV parked in the driveway of Bewley's residence. Pecor said that the SUV was not searched Friday, but authorities don't think weapons were there at the time.

"They arrived over the weekend," he said. "Bad timing on his part. Good timing on law enforcement's part."

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Three juveniles have been arrested in connection with a rock-throwing incident on Interstate 80 near Colfax that seriously injured a south Sacramento man.

The youths, two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old, are being held in the Placer County Juvenile Detention Center on $150,000 bail each. The Placer County District Attorney's Office announced that it will file eight felony counts against each defendant.

In the early morning hours of July 26, a group of individuals threw rocks from the Canyon Way overcrossing, near the Mink Creek residential area, striking several motorists traveling along eastbound and westbound Interstate 80, according to the California Highway Patrol.

One motorist was seriously injured when one of the rocks shattered his front windshield and struck him in the face. He underwent surgery for his injuries at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

The CHP announced that the three teenagers were taken into custody early today.

The District Attorney's Office said the charges against each include one count of conspiracy, one count of battery causing serious bodily injury, three counts of assault with use of a deadly weapon and three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

The three are to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Monday in Auburn.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department warns that a firearm is missing after officers arrested two men in an area where a gun had shot into the air.

The Roseville Police Department warns the public that the handgun used in the incident may have been discarded by the roadway. People are urged to not touch it if they see it and to notify police.

Here's the how the incident and arrests occurred, according to a Police Department news release:

At 12:39 a.m. today, officers responded to a report that following a fight someone had fired a shot into the air in a parking lot in the 100 block of Church Street. No one was injured.

The shooter and his companion drove away in a Mercedes sedan in the direction of the Sierra Street bridge, colliding with a parked vehicle as they left.

Officers spotted the Mercedes on Atlantic Street and pursued it, eventually following it up State Route 65 to Lincoln. The driver pulled over and stopped just south of Ferrari Ranch Road, and both suspects were taken into custody without further incident.

A search of the vehicle and the area did not produce the handgun believed used to fire the shot.

Roseville Police Department staff members are searching for the firearm, a semi-automatic handgun.

Arrested in connection with the incident were Michael Gregorio Williamson (photo bottom left), 30, of Plumas Lake, and Alvaro Joe Pereyra (photo bottom right), 29, of Riverside, police said.

blobfetch (7).jpg blobfetch (7).jpg11111.jpg

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two brothers from Sacramento County have been arrested after police said they found their car crammed with stolen goods.

Moises Malave Martinez, 25, of Sacramento and Arturo Martinez, Jr., 23, of Elk Grove were arrested Wednesday afternoon after their car was stopped for a red-light violation at Atlantic Street near the Interstate 80 on-ramp in Roseville.

Inside the car, police said, they found stolen property from Rocklin, Roseville and Sacramento. The officer saw tires, rims, stereo equipment and other electronic items filling the back seat.

One stolen item, a GPS device, contained the address of a Taylor Road hotel. Officers went to the hotel where they noticed a vehicle with a broken window.

They contacted the vehicle owner, who confirmed the GPS belonged to her.

While officers were investigating, Rocklin Police got a call from a resident who had awakened to find her vehicle on blocks -- missing and tires and rims. It is suspected by police that the Martinez brothers are connected to that theft.

A stereo amplifier in the Martinez vehicle was matched to one stolen last week in Sacramento.

The brothers were booked in Roseville City Jail on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglar's tools and possession of stolen property.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A decision on whether charges will be filed against two Newcastle men in an alleged road-rage attack on KFBK sportscaster Pat Walsh awaits the review of a complaint by the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Officer Dave Martinez, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol's Newcastle office, said the CHP filed a complaint against the two men. Neither man was taken into custody.

The two are accused of attacking Walsh near Applegate on June 1.

Walsh said following the incident that he was driving eastbound on the freeway when men in an SUV pulling a car dolly came up quickly behind him and started yelling and flashing obscene gestures.

Walsh said he sped up to try to avoid a confrontation but pulled over when the SUV did not slow down and cut off his vehicle.

Walsh said his attackers punched him in the face and body, and threw him down an embankment.

A spokesman for the Placer County District Attorney's office said the complaint has yet to be reviewed and it probably will be a few weeks before the district attorney decides whether to file charges.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department will conduct a DUI/driver's license checkpoint Friday evening.

The checkpoint will be at an undisclosed location where a significant number of DUI-related collisions and DUI arrests have occurred, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers will screen drivers passing through the checkpoint for sobriety and for a valid driver's license.

"DUI arrests can be embarrassing and expensive, but they're easy to prevent," Roseville Police Chief Mike Blair said in the release. "If you're drinking, hand your keys over to a designated sober driver, or call a taxi or sober friend for a ride home. Don't risk an arrest - or worse, a serious injury or even death."

Funding for the checkpoint comes from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

RB Cellphone 0004[1].JPG1.JPG

A motorist uses a cell phone while driving in Sacramento on Tuesday. Bee photo by Randall Benton.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The first zero tolerance cell-phone day in the Sacramento area resulted in 345 tickets for talkative drivers.

Police and the California Highway Patrol dedicated Tuesday to focusing on drivers talking or texting on a cell phone that is not a hands-free device.

On Tuesday, the officers issued 345 citations for talking on the cell phone while driving. The officers also handed out seven citations for texting while driving.

The CHP handed out 147 of those tickets for cell-phone conversations and allied police departments wrote 198 tickets for the same offense.

The crackdown was conducted by the CHP and by the Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Roseville, Galt, Twin Rivers, Lodi, Ripon and Rancho Cordova police departments.

Another crackdown by CHP and police departments is planned for Aug. 18.

"If you are one of those who can't resist answering that cell phone, we will be out in force again," said CHP officer Adrian Quintero.

Cell-phone violations carry a minimum fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for the second. When court costs and other fees are added, the total can exceed $100 for a first offense, the CHP said.

Cell phones are the leading cause statewide of crashes by inattentive drivers, the CHP said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Fire sprinklers were credited with extinguishing a fire that started in the service bay at Roseville Yamaha late this afternoon.

The Roseville Fire Department received a report of a structure fire 5:21 p.m. at the business, 2014 Taylor Road.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was pouring from the service bay at the rear of the building, but the fire had been extinguished by sprinklers, according to a fire department news release. Fire and smoke damage was described as minimal and was limited to the service area. Fire officials said the building sustained moderate water damage due to activation of the fire sprinkler system.

The fire started in the service area where employees were working on a Wave Runner. Approximately 30 employees and customers were in the building at the time, but no injuries were reported.

"In light of the fact that this fire involved flammable liquids, there was a lot of potential that this could have been devastating," Battalion Chief Kathy Finney, said in a written statement. "The fire sprinklers did their job."

Fire officials said the exact cause of the fire is under investigation.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof and Cathy Locke
blindelof@sacbee.com

Two Roseville residents were arraigned in Placer County Superior Court today on felony charges of pimping and communicating with a minor with intent to commit an unlawful offense.

Syla Debra Thongsy, 21, and her roommate, Stephen Euguene Putnam, 45, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Putnam also pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of a lewd act upon a child.

Roseville police said Thongsy (photo bottom right) is alleged to have taken a 15-year-old girl from Sacramento and kept her at her home against her will for nearly two weeks.

During that period, Thongsy is suspected of taking the teen to Sacramento to work as a prostitute, police said. On Sunday, the girl was able to escape the house and return to her family.

The family, in turn, contacted Roseville police, who arrested Thongsy and Putnam (photo bottom left), 45, who lives with Thongsy, police said.

Placer County Superior Court Judge Larry D. Gaddis set bail for each defendant at $100,000 and scheduled a conference hearing for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

putnam_stephen_eugene.jpg thongsy_syla.jpg

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The Placer County District Attorney's office is warning the public to watch out for scam artists when hiring for work around the house.

The California State Licensing Board cautions citizens to only hire state-licensed contractors on projects of $500 or more.

Also, check the license online at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling (800) 321-2752.

Other CSLB recommendations: get three bids, get references of contractors, review past work of contractors, get project expectations in writing and only sign a contract if understood.

Citizens should also confirm that the contractor has workers' compensation insurance.

Don't pay in cash and don't pay more than 10 percent down or $1,000, whichever is less. Don't make the final payment until satisfied with the job.

clip_image002.jpgplacer.jpgThe hints on hiring comes in the wake of an 87-year-old Auburn woman who was bilked out of $13,500 for a tree removal job on her property.

The contractor, Leron Anthony Stephenson (photo left), 30, of Roseville, cashed six checks, including four blank checks given by the victim, according to a news release from the DA's Office.

Stephenson pleaded guilty in April to theft charges and contracting without a license, the release states. He was given a one-year jail sentence, placed on five years probation and given a suspended prison sentence of five years and four months.

He must pay the back the $13,500 to the family of his victim, the release states.

The elderly woman died before Stephenson changed his plea to guilty in April, according to the release.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Roseville Police Chief Michael Blair announced today that he plans to retire next spring.

Blair grew up in Roseville, and although he started his career elsewhere, he spent the majority of his law enforcement career serving his hometown.

"Having lived in Roseville since 1965, I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to give back to the community that has given me and my family so much over the years," Blair said in his letter to the city manager announcing his intentions to leave the post that pays him $177,948.78 annually.

The plan is for Blair to retire April 8, 2011, when he turns 50, making him eligible for retirement after 24 1/2 years of service.

He began his law enforcement career in 1983 with the California State Police and worked for the Placer County Sheriff's Department before joining the Roseville Police Department in 1986.

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Two men, one from Roseville and the other from Shingle Springs, have been indicted on child pornography charges.

Thomas Neal, 41, of Roseville was arrested Thursday and charged with possessing and receiving child pornographic images, and Jeffery Rogers, 59, of Shingle Springs was arrested today on charges of possessing child pornography, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Both men pleaded not guilty during arraignment hearings. Neal was released on $24,000 bond, and Rogers on $25,000 bond.

The indictment against Neal alleges that he knowingly possessed and accessed child pornography in February of this year. It also alleges in two counts that he received such images in June and October of 2009.

The indictment against Rogers alleges that in October 2009 he possessed a computer hard drive and computer discs that contained child pornography.

In both cases, the government seeks forfeiture of the computer equipment and storage media used to receive and store the images.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Police and the California Highway Patrol in the Sacramento area are dedicating two days this month to "zero tolerance" of cell phone use or texting while driving.

Anyone caught talking or texting on a cell phone that is not a hands free device Tuesday or Aug. 18 will be given a citation that carries a fine of up to $100, according to the CHP. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the effort would cover nine days.)

The CHP indicated that such enforcements may become an annual effort.

Cell phones are the leading cause of inattentive driver crashes in the state, the CHP said.

Since the start of the hands-free law two years ago more than 1,200 collisions have cell phones as a contributing factor.

Those collisions have resulted in 16 fatalities and 850 people injured.

Among the agencies participating in the crackdown are: the CHP and officers in the Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Roseville, Galt and Rancho Cordova police departments.

The July 1, 2008 law prohibits the use of handheld cell phones by all drivers. In addition, it forbids drivers under the age of 18 from using both handheld and hands free phones. Six months later, a ban on text messaging by drivers was put in place.

CHP officers have issued more than 244,000 citations for violation of the cell phone law.

Cell phone violations carry a minimum fine of $20 for the first offense and $50 for the second. When court costs and other fees are added, the total can exceed $100 for a first offense, the CHP said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bee Staff

Rocklin police arrested three suspects today in a string of early morning car break-ins and property thefts.

According to a Rocklin Police Department news release, arrested were (photos from left below):

- Yevgeniy A Kerez, 22, Sacramento

- Anatoliy Pavlovich Vorobets, 19, Antelope

- Iliya Deshevenko, 22, Sacramento.

All three were arrested on suspicion of burglary, theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy, the release states.

Here the chain of events, according to Rocklin police:

Early this morning, Rocklin police received several calls from residents of the 7000 block of Pembroke Way and the 6900 block of Broughton Court reporting that their vehicles had been broken into and property was stolen.

As officers were taking the reports, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department told Rocklin police that deputies had contacted the occupants of a car near Walerga and Elverta roads in Sacramento County. Deputies found property that contained references to a Rocklin resident.

Rocklin police detectives met with the deputies, collected the property, and arrested three suspects.

So far five vehicle break-ins have been reported in Rocklin, the release states.

Among the stolen items recovered are iPods, a Bluetooth device, CDs and tools. Additional property was found inside the vehicle and detectives believe it was recently stolen, but the property has not been linked to any victims, the release states.

Rocklin residents who have been victims of a vehicle break-in but have not reported the crime are asked to contact the Rocklin Police Department.

Kerez, Y.jpgnew.jpg Vorobets, A.jpgnew.jpg Deshevenko, I.jpgnew.jpg

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Rocklin police said that a man with a handgun held up a market in town early this morning.

Officers responded at about 2:30 a.m. to the Rocklin Food Mart, 3800 Rocklin Road.

They were told by the store owner that an armed man with a black bandana over his face took cash and fled on foot to a car on Pacific Street.

He was described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and about 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a navy blue jacket, a black hat, and baggy blue jeans.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

An El Dorado County jury today convicted David Charles Zanon of running down and killing a California Highway Patrol officer and attempting to murder other officers.

ZANONx32654[1].JPGThe first-degree murder conviction with special allegations makes Zanon (photo left), 40, eligible for the death penalty.

Zanon killed California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Russell in a 30-mile, high-speed chase in which Russell was struck and killed along Highway 50 in Shingle Springs while attempting to stop the chase with a spike strip on July 31, 2007.

Zanon also was found guilty of the attempted murder of CHP Officer Wayne Kenneweg, who earlier had attempted to stop the pursuit with a spike strip.

He also was found guilty of the attempted murder of Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Shannon Schumaker, who made the initial contact with Zanon in Rancho Cordova.

Police say Zanon was discovered burglarizing a Rancho Cordova business on the same day as he killed Russell. He then led officers from several jurisdictions on a high-speed chase deep into El Dorado County.

Near the Ponderosa Road exit, officials say, he coldly steered his getaway car off the freeway onto the median and ran down Russell.

Minutes after leaving the Rancho Cordova site with deputies in pursuit, Zanon swerved toward Schumaker's vehicle as he responded to the scene.

The El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson compared Zanon's action to a "game of chicken."

On Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills, Pierson recounted, Zanon swerved toward Kenneweg attempting to lay a spike strip.

Along the way, he threw things out of his vehicle into the path of those pursuing him and called his friends, Pierson said.

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow expressed gratitude for the verdict.

"On behalf of the entire CHP family, I wish to extend our deepest appreciation to the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office, the El Dorado Superior Court, the members of the jury and all the supporters of the CHP and Officer Scott Russell," Farrow said.

Call The Bee's Carlos Alcalá, (916) 321-1987.

ecclip_image001.jpgBy Queenie Wong
qwong@sacbee.com

A Citrus Heights man was arrested Thursday morning after a police officer spotted a pickup truck with alleged stolen copper piping and enviro-brass water meters, according to the Rocklin Police Department.

Officers arrested Christopher Etzel (left photo), 48, at his home on suspicion of possessing stolen property, theft and conspiracy. Police are still searching for a second suspect, said Sgt. Scott Horrillo, the department's spokesman.

Horrillo said officers spotted Etzel in a pickup truck with 11 water meters and piping about 1 a.m. Thursday, but did not arrest the driver because they could verify if the items were stolen.

Detectives later discovered that water meters and piping had gone missing from Elliott Homes near Calverhall Way, Horrillo said.

Etzel is being held at the Placer County Jail with a bail of $210,000.

Call The Bee's Queenie Wong, (916) 321-1008.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A man accused of impersonating a police officer in an attempt to extort money was arrested Thursday by officers with the Auburn Police Department and Placer County Special Investigations Unit.

Chad Richard Mowry, 26, was taken into custody at a Rocklin residence on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and conspiracy, as well as attempted extortion and impersonating a peace officer.

Mowry allegedly contacted victims and told them he was aware that they had hired exotic dancers to perform sexual acts at a residence in Auburn, according to an Auburn Police Department news release. Mowry reportedly said that he was a law enforcement officer and that he could "make the charges go away" if they paid him money.

The victims did not have all the money Mowry requested, so they wrote him a check and asked him to cash it at a later date. They alleged that they were contacted numerous times over the next several days by Mowry and several other suspects, who provided numerous reasons why they needed to cooperate with Mowry, according to the news release.

The victims then contacted the Police Department, and the investigation led detectives to the Rocklin residence, where Mowry was arrested.

In addition to Mowry, Auburn detectives say they have identified several other suspects and believe there may be additional victims who have not come forward.

The Police Department asks anyone who knows of additional victims or who has information relevant to the case to call Detective Adam Cline at (530) 823-4237, ext. 238.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A former California Highway Patrol officer allegedly offered $10,000 to a "confidential informant" to kill a witness in his drugs and weapons case in the Placer County Superior Court, court documents show.

Ruben Salgado.JPGRuben Cesar Salgado (photo left), 37, pleaded not guilty today in Placer County Superior Court to the solicitation to commit murder charge.

Salgado also faces drug and weapons charges in the same court.

Judge Mark S. Curry also ordered Salgado held without bail on the solicitation charge and raised the bail on the other charges to $500,000 from $70,000.

Curry also ruled that Placer County has jurisdiction in the case, even though the alleged solicitation occurred in Sacramento County.

Salgado was initially arrested May 11 by the California Highway Patrol on drug and weapons charges following a two-month investigation.

A 12-year CHP veteran, Salgado had been assigned to patrol duties in the Auburn area since January 2009. He was arrested in May on six felony counts, including possession and transportation of a controlled substance and possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony.

Officials said in May that an outside source alerted CHP and Placer County district attorney's investigators to Salgado's alleged criminal activity involving drug use.

He pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in Placer Superior Court on May 13.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Chelsea Phua
cphua@sacbee.com
clip_image002.jpg
A 32-year-old validated gang member was sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading no contest to felony charges that stemmed from a June 12 traffic stop where he fled from police and a loaded handgun fell out of his pocket, Placer County authorities said.

Prosecutors from the District Attorney's office said David Michael Perez of Rio Linda was a passenger inside a car that police stopped on the Sierra Street Bridge in Roseville. They said Perez got out of the car and ran away. When he jumped on the hood of a parked car and dented it, a loaded gun fell out of his pocket.

As a validated, active gang member with felony convictions, Perez was not allowed to have a gun, prosecutor Stephanie Macumber said.

On July 21, Perez pleaded no contest to four felony charges that included carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, street terrorism and vandalism, authorities said. He also pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges of resisting or obstructing peace officers and one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm. He also did not contest special allegations of having prior felony offenses.

Photo provided by the Placer County Sheriff's Department

Call The Bee's Chelsea Phua, (916) 321-1132.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The Placer County coroner has released the name of a pedestrian killed last week on Interstate 80 in Roseville.

She has been identified as Jodi Jenell Jones, 26, of Sacramento.

Jones was walking on I-80 July 21 when she was struck by a big rig and other vehicles.

It is not clear why the woman was on eastbound I-80 just east of Douglas Boulevard about 4:40 a.m.

Her family had reported her missing the day before she died.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

gb 072710 024538.JPGBy Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Roseville police are looking for a man who robbed the River City Bank at 3992 Douglas Blvd. this afternoon.

The robber (left photo), a white man in his 50s or 60s, entered the bank about 2:45 p.m. He was carrying a metal clipboard with a note attached demanding money, according to a Police Department news release. No weapon was seen.

After presenting the note to a bank employee, the man took an undisclosed amount of cash and ran out of the bank toward Sierra College Boulevard. Police said no vehicle was seen and no injuries were reported during the robbery.

The man was described as 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing eyeglasses and a black Oakland Raiders ballcap over short salt and pepper hair. He also was wearing a white, long-sleeved dress shirt with a black tie and blue jeans.

Anyone who recognizes the man or has information about the crime is asked to call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department will conduct a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint on Saturday from 6 p.m. until approximately midnight, according to a department news release.

"The checkpoint will be conducted at an undisclosed location where a significant number of alcohol-related arrests and collisions have occurred," the release states.

Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

By Matthew Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

A 20-year old man drowned in Placer County Sunday afternoon when he dove into a lake and did not resurface.

The victim drowned near the south shore of Camp Far West Lake, a Placer County Sheriff's Department dispatcher confirmed.

Sheriff's department personnel responded to reports of a possible drowning shortly after 4 p.m.

The victim's identity was not immediately available.

Call The Bee's Matthew Kawahara, (916) 321-1015.

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

A Rocklin resident was sentenced today to six months in jail and placed on three years probation for committing a sex act on a man who was asleep in a guest room the morning after a New Year's Eve party.

Placer County Superior Court Judge J. Richard Couzens also ordered Ladd Douglas Wiidanen, 42, to obtain psychological counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse. He must also register as a sex offender.

A jury on March 18 convicted Wiidanen of committing a sex act on an unconscious person, which is a felony. The jury took less than 90 minutes to reach a guilty verdict, according to a Placer County District Attorney's Office news release.

Wiidanen and the victim were among guests at a house party in Rocklin on the night of Dec. 31, 2007.

The victim and his girlfriend retired to a guest room during the early morning hours of Jan. 1.

About 7 a.m., the victim was awakened by the defendant committing an act of oral sex on him, according to the news release.

Rocklin police were called to the home and took DNA samples, which were forwarded to the California Department of Justice for analysis. Because of the heavy backlog of cases, however, the department didn't match the DNA samples to Wiidanen until 22 months after the incident.

Earlier this month, as Wiidanen awaited sentencing, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in Rocklin and is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 12. Judge Couzens cited the arrest in ordering counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse.

Wiidanen apologized repeatedly in a brief statement to the court and acknowledged the drinking problem, saying that he is attending Alcoholics Anonymous classes, according to the news release.

Couzens said Wiidanen must serve at least 45 days of his county jail sentence before he is eligible to apply for alternative sentencing, which could include work release programs with electronic monitoring.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

The Placer County coroner is requesting help in identifying a pedestrian killed Wednesday on Interstate 80 in Roseville.

The woman was walking on I-80 Wednesday morning when she was struck by a big rig and other vehicles.

It is not clear why the woman was on eastbound I-80 just east of Douglas Boulevard about 4:40 a.m.

The woman is either white or Latino, between 25 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, the Placer County coroner said in a news release. The dark-haired woman was wearing black pants and a black shirt.

Anyone who might be able to identify the woman is asked to call Chief Deputy Coroner Dennis Watt at (530) 889-7878.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Placer County sheriff's deputies say a man who opened a bar not only didn't have a license to serve booze but also didn't own the saloon.

Detective Jim Hudson read a newspaper article in the Auburn Journal that stated Travis Travis Kevie.JPGLloyd Kevie (photo left), 29, of Newcastle was the new owner of the Valencia Club on Taylor Road in Penryn. Hudson said he recognized Kevie as a "transient" whom deputies knew well.

Hudson was aware that the Valencia Club had previously closed its doors and the liquor license had been surrendered to the state.

So the curious detective went to the bar where patrons were bellied up to the bar to find out if Kevie had a new license, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Hudson said he soon found out that there was no liquor license and Kevie, who had once worked on a clean-up crew for the previous owner, had no legal rights to the property.

Deputies said Kevie admitted that he broke into building and on Friday night threw an "Open" sign in the window. Soon, he was pouring for thirsty customers, deputies said.

Like other savvy business owners, he re-invested profits in the business: Kevie started with a six-pack of beer purchased from a convenience store across the street and used the proceeds from bar customers to buy more alcohol, deputies said.

He kept the bar open through the weekend, serving about 30 customers a day, deputies said.

Kevie was arrested on suspicion of burglary and selling alcohol without a license, deputies said.

A large amount of alcohol and cash was confiscated at the scene, the release states.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Q: Was the murderer of two teenage girls named Melissa and Tina in 1984 ever caught and convicted? - Anonymous, Carmichael

A Placer County Superior Court jury acquitted a Carmichael man on Aug. 5, 1988, of the 1984 bludgeoning deaths in Sierra County of two North Highlands teenagers, the Bee reported.

No one else was ever prosecuted in the deaths of Tina Shrader and Melissa Mattingly, both 17, according to Bee reports.

The jury foreman said the "jury was just not convinced that the prosecution proved without a reasonable doubt" that the 34-year-old suspect was guilty.

The suspect was manager of the North Highlands doughnut shop where Mattingly worked.

The case based on circumstantial evidence was moved to an Auburn courtroom because of pretrial publicity in Sierra County, where the heavily decomposed bodies of Shrader and Mattingly were discovered July 4, 1984, by a fisherman near the Little Truckee River.

The suspect admitted on the witness stand that he took Shrader and Mattingly to the north shore of Lake Tahoe on Memorial Day weekend 1984 but testified the girls left that area in the company of an unidentified motorist who was driving a car with out-of-state license plates.

He denied having taken them to the secluded riverside spot north of Truckee where their nude bodies were found lying side by side. A pathologist testified the backs of the victims' skulls had been crushed by a blunt object.

For a complete list of questions answered by Sacto911, click here

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A woman walking on Interstate 80 was struck and killed by a big rig this morning.

It is not clear why the woman was on eastbound I-80 just east of Douglas Boulevard in Roseville at about 4:40 a.m.

California Highway Patrol officers were in the area at the time, assisting with traffic control for a construction project. However, the woman was struck by the big rig only minutes after the first call was received by the CHP of a pedestrian on the freeway.

CHP spokeswoman Kelly Baraga said the pedestrian may have been struck first by the truck and then by another vehicle.

All lanes have reopened. CHP Officer Rich Wetzel said the woman was not associated with the construction zone work.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

KCRA: Pedestrian killed along I-80 in Roseville

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

CHP officials remained tight-lipped Tuesday regarding their investigation into former officer Ruben Salgado. While they refused to talk about the case against Salgado, they did confirm that a woman was arrested with him last week.

Breaonna Nunes, 21, and Salgado, 37, were arrested at 2:15 a.m. Thursday at the Governors Inn in Sacramento. They face drug charges.

Salgado has also been charged with soliciting a murder for hire.

Nunes was booked into Sacramento County jail, while Salgado was sent to Placer County's jail in Auburn - his second stint there in recent weeks.

Salgado was initially arrested May 12 by the California Highway Patrol on drug and weapons charges following a two-month investigation.

A spokesman for the Placer County District Attorney's office released the information about Salgado's second arrest, but there was no mention of Nunes, whose last name has also been spelled Nunez by the CHP.

This is not Nunes' first brush with the law in Sacramento County. In 2009, she faced vandalism charges and she has a July 28 court date for a 2010 DUI offense.

She could not be reached for comment.

The Sacramento District Attorney's office has not filed charges in response to the latest arrest.

Court documents indentify the target of the alleged murder for hire scheme by the initials "R.M."

Jeanie Hoatson, a spokeswoman for the CHP, said they could give no further details on the plot other than to say that crime took place while he was out on bail.

"That is part of the reason why they are so tight lipped, because this is a continuing ongoing investigation," Hoatson said. "They are not releasing anything on that."

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Two Sacramento law enforcement officers facing misdemeanor charges pleaded not guilty during their separate arraignments today.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Monica Chavez pleaded not guilty to a charge of battery for allegedly punching another woman while attempting to separate their fighting dogs at a Roseville dog park.

Sacramento police Sgt. John Castiglia, who did not appear in court, made his please through attorney Daniel McNamara, denying that he stole razors and deodorant from a WinCo store in Roseville.

Chavez is charged with hitting Shelley Riley, whose miniature pinscher fought with Chavez's pug at Bear Dog Park on Pleasant Grove Boulevard. Chavez claimed that Riley threw the pug while separating the dogs, but Riley told The Bee that she dragged the pug off her dog but did not throw it.

Chavez's attorney, Michael Bowman, said his client acted properly in defending herself and her property.

"Under California law you don't have to get hit first," Bowman said. "You can act reasonably to protect yourself or your property."

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

Previous coverage:

At capital-area dog parks, it's the humans who sometimes act up - July 10, 2010

Dog park punching case set for July 20 arraignment - June 23, 2010

Woman accused of dog park assault identified as deputy - July 21, 2010

Sacramento police sergeant arrested on suspicion of shoplifting - June 5, 2010

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

bank_robber_june2010.jpgRewards are being offered for the arrest of a man who is suspected of holding up six banks.

Two of the banks were robbed in Roseville and four in the south Bay area between April 2 and June 22. The two held up in Roseville were the River City Bank inside a Bel Air supermarket on May 14 and the US Bank inside a Safeway store on June 22.

The robber is described as a white man in his 30s or 40s, 6 feet tall, with brown hair and a handlebar mustache.

cirby 120258.JPGRoseville Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward and tipsters may also be eligible for a $10,000 reward from U.S. Bank. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7967.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Previous story:

Roseville police seek supermarket bank robber - July 8, 2010

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A Minden, Nev., man has been sent to state prison for trying to prevent a witness from testifying at his trial.

Clint Wayne Wardlow, 35, was sentenced in Placer County Superior Court on Thursday to 16 years after pleading guilty to trying to dissuade a witness and two drug-related counts.

Also contributing to his sentence was Wardlow's admission of having a prior conviction for possessing methamphetamine for sale.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Suzanne Gazzaniga said Wardlow's most recent conviction stems from a 2008 case in which he was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale.

Wardlow made a telephone call in October 2009 as his case was going through the justice system to one of the witnesses who was served a subpoena to testify against him. Wardlow threatened to kill the witness and burn down her home, Gazzaniga said.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

Ruben Salgado.JPGBy Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

Former CHP officer Ruben Salgado, who is accused of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot, did not enter a plea today when he appeared for an arraignment hearing in Auburn.

Salgado's attorney, Daniel Nicholson, said he wants details on the case against his client before entering a plea. Nicholson is also seeking a change of venue.

Prosecutors declined to talk to the media.

Salgado was arrested in May on drug and weapons charges. In addition to solicitation to commit murder, the new allegations include possession of a controlled substance, being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officials would not discuss who was believed to be the target of the alleged murder solicitation. Court documents identify the alleged target as "R.M."

Call The Bee's Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269.

KCRA: New venue sought for Salgado case

Previous coverage:

CHP officer arrested again -- suspected of solicitation to commit murder - July 16, 2010

CHP arrests one of its officers on drug, weapons charges - May 13, 2010

By Cathy Locke
clocke@sacbee.com

Placer County animal control officers are investigating an incident in which it appears a donkey was sprayed with acid in a Penryn-area pasture.

The animal's owner, Shannon McClurg, said this is the second time in five years that the 22-year-old donkey has been the target of such an attack. The latest incident occurred last weekend.

McClurg said she keeps two donkeys in a pasture off Butler Road. She speculated that the assailant used a high-powered squirt gun. She said the substance burned the animal's fur and skin, starting at the lower shoulder and extending down the leg.

The same donkey also was attacked in June 2005.

Placer County spokeswoman Anita Yoder confirmed that animal control officers are investigating the incident, but said she did not know whether the agency had received other reports of such attacks.

McClurg said she is installing motion-sensor lights around her property and has moved the donkeys into a smaller corral away from the road.

She is eager to see the perpetrator caught.

"People that have this kind of disregard for animals don't have any regard for people, either," McClurg said.

Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Donkey targeted in acid attack