North Tahoe man, 36, suspected in multiple felony burglaries
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A local man was arrested last month on suspicion of possessing heroin paraphernalia and committing multiple burglaries across North Tahoe and Northern Nevada.
Samuel Joel Gauger, 36, of Kings Beach, was arrested in Incline Village on Nov. 24, and faces nine felony charges, including three for first-degree burglary, and one each for grand larceny, possessing a dangerous weapon (a knife) and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gauger remains in county jail in Reno on no bail, Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jeff Clark said Wednesday.
He is suspected in four residential burglaries over the past few months in Incline Village, Clark said, as well as a commercial burglary at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe. Further, some of his charges stem from crimes in Sparks.
Gauger, who’s also being investigated for similar crimes in Kings Beach, was originally suspected in one of the Incline burglaries several months ago, Clark said.
“In that one, there was a known victim, and (Gauger) entered the house on multiple occasions. He was listed as a suspect, but there was no real evidence at the time,” Clark said. “But during the investigation and after his arrest, he confessed.”
Gauger was arrested after someone reported a suspicious person who had possibly stolen a vehicle, Clark said.
After deputies pulled him over on Nov. 24 in Incline, Gauger allegedly was found with the knife and drug paraphernalia, along with several stolen credit cards.
“The ignition was manipulated on the car, but the stories didn’t match up, and we couldn’t confirm the owner of the car, so we couldn’t charge him with the stolen car,” Clark said. “… But as the case unfolded, we started investigating names on the credit cards, and (he was charged with) the other crimes.”
It’s “safe to say” Gauger was committing the crimes to support a drug habit, Clark said; the paraphernalia recovered included marijuana pipes and a hypodermic needle likely used for heroin.
While Gauger lists Kings Beach as his residence, he was known to couch surf a lot in the area, including Incline Village, Clark said.
Gauger has a court date set for Dec. 22 in Sparks. An Incline Village Justice Court date had yet to be scheduled as of Wednesday.