Six arrested – including 12-year-old girl – in car theft case

Renee Shadforth

Truckee Police arrested six Truckee residents on suspicion involvement in an auto theft, including a 12-year-old girl charged with originally stealing the vehicle, who was accused of going on a $500 shoplifting spree with her friends five days earlier.

“[The girl] did not come to light for us until these last couple of weeks,” Cmdr. Scott Berry said of the 12-year-old who was charged with grand theft, auto theft and possession of stolen property. “In two weeks, she’s committed about six felonies.”

The suspects, ranging in age from 12 to 23, were arrested after a 74-year-old resident of the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments reported her car had been stolen after she had been packing it for a trip the next day.

The woman went inside to answer the telephone and came outside and saw her car had been stolen, including her luggage, purse, $500 cash and six half-gallon bottles of vodka, police officials said.

Two hours later, Detective Martin Schoenberg was investigating and injury hit-and-run on the Glenshire Bridge when a man, who turned out to be the theft victim’s son, flagged the detective down. He told Schoenberg he had seen someone driving his mother’s car up the dirt hill from Glenshire to Airport Flats.

When Schoenberg located the vehicle, the two occupants took off running through the sagebrush, according to the report.

After a half-mile foot chase, Schoenberg ran the suspects down and arrested them.

“[The suspects] gave up. [Detective Schoenberg] is a runner,” Berry said. “These two guys thought they’d out-run the doughnut-eating cop. They were surprised.”

After two days of investigation, Truckee Police officers discovered the 12-year-old girl had originally stolen the vehicle from the senior center, according to the report. The girl was one of six juveniles, all Sierra Mountain Middle School students, who allegedly cut school June 5 and shoplifted more than $500 worth of merchandise from local businesses.

After stealing the vehicle, the girl handed the car keys over to some older friends, according to police.

The luggage was found in dumpsters around Truckee. The two juvenile girls implicated in the case were allegedly in possession of the purse contents and most of the cash had been recovered, Berry reported.

“The [12-year-old] girl’s mother is trying to find the remaining items,” Berry said.

Those arrested in the case include the 12-year-old female, a 13-year-old female for possession of stolen property, a 17-year-old male for auto theft and possession of stolen property. The juveniles were booked in Nevada County Juvenile Hall.

Also charged in the crime were Alfredo Alberto Mendoza-Duran, 19, for auto theft and possession of stolen property, and Juan Antonio Valdivia-Duarte, 19, and Jorge Luis Salmeron-Zarate, 23, for possession of stolen property. The adult suspects were booked in Nevada County Jail. All of the suspects are no longer in custody, according to jail representatives.

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