Suspect arrested for ski area burglary
A local man has been arrested on suspicion of theft of thousands of dollars in snowboard and ski equipment from Soda Springs Ski Area, as well as charges of the alleged sale of opium and marijuana.
Brian Hooser, 19, of Truckee was booked into Nevada County Jail on charges of alleged burglary and conspiracy of burglary, and alleged possession of opium and marijuana for sale. Hooser was also charged with violation of his existing probation.
“There was an employee party at Soda Springs Ski resort on the 20th,” Ron Smith of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said. “During the party it was discovered somebody had broken into the rental shop at Soda Springs.”
Hooser may have been an employee at Soda Springs Resort.
However, a spokeswoman at Boreal Ski Area, which also owns Soda Springs, said Wednesday that personnel information could not be released and they could not confirm if Hooser was employed by the resorts.
Taken in the theft were at least 27 snowboards, and an undetermined number of skis and snowshoes, according to Smith.
“We’re looking at probably a theft in excess of $15,000,” he said.
Smith said that eyewitnesses have allegedly placed Hooser at the scene of the burglary.
“Mr. Hooser was seen inside the rental shop which was locked at the time,” he said.
Hooser was on probation already, and one of the terms of his probation was that law enforcement had the right to enter and search his residence at any time. NCSO and Truckee Police Department officers searched Hooser’s residence on Thursday.
“Due to his probation he had forfeited his Fourth Amendment rights and is subject to search at any time,” said TPD Sgt. Dan Johnston. “We were able to track down his true residence and we did a probation search on that residence.”
Found at that residence in Soda Springs were several packages of opium “prepared for sale” according to authorities, as well as a half-pound of marijuana and a rifle.
Authorities also gained additional evidence of Hooser’s alleged involvement in drug sales during their search, Johnston said.
“While we were conducting the search at the residence, we heard a phone call (over an answering machine) in which the person ordered by name some opium from the individual we arrested,” Johnston said.
Hooser’s roommate was not at home during the search and his current whereabouts are unknown. He has been implicated in the investigation, and a warrant for his arrest is being sought.
“As far as the burglary it’s still under investigation,” Smith said.
Anyone with information on the case is encouraged to call Ron Smith at the NCSO, (530) 582-7842.