Vehicle break-ins drop after Kings Beach arrest
An arrest made at the end of January seems to have marked the end of a wave of vehicle break-ins throughout the Truckee Tahoe region.
The Placer County Sheriff’s office and the Truckee Police Department received more than 80 reports through January of personal property stolen from vehicles ” a vast majority of which were unlocked.
But ever since law enforcement officials arrested Kings Beach resident Cameron Covington, 25, nearly two months ago, the calls reporting thefts from vehicles have dropped off.
“We still have one here and there, but we aren’t having the craziness that we were,” said Placer Sheriff’s Detective Sage Bourassa. “At this point, we’re sitting pretty good on the car [burglaries]. And actually, our crime has been down quite a bit, as far as burglaries.”
After searching Covington’s residence with a search warrant at the end of January, law enforcement officials found property that allegedly links Covington to more than 15 thefts scattered throughout the region. In the search, officials recovered mostly iPods, but they also found Sirius XM-radio transmitters, stolen checks and credit cards, even a social security card that belongs to a local victim, Bourassa said.
The items are being held as evidence, but will eventually be returned to their owners, local officials said.
Judging from the noticeable decline in reported thefts from vehicles since Covington’s arrest, officials believe the suspect had a hand in more than just those 15 cases.
“[Reports of vehicle thefts] have significantly dropped off,” said Detective Bill Mardison of the Truckee Police Department. “It’s my belief that [Covington] was involved in more than just the cases that we were able to link to him.”
Covington, who is a convicted felon according to local law enforcement, was booked into Placer County Jail on January 29 and transferred down to the Auburn facility. He was released two days later on a $10,000 bail.
Covington faces 13 felony counts, said District Attorney Chris Cattran, including possession of ammunition by a felon, one count of second-degree burglary, possession of a credit card with intent to defraud and eight counts of possession of stolen property. Taking into consideration Covington’s record, Cattran estimated that Covington could land a maximum sentence of seven years in state prison.
In past conferences, Covington has requested additional time to find legal representation, Cattran said. His next conference is scheduled for April 7.
The case remains under investigation, Bourassa said, noting that she thinks Covington wasn’t alone.
“I do think that he had help,” she said. “It wasn’t Cameron [Covington] alone. But we’re not sure who his counterpart was.”
But the recent calm period is a positive sign that crime is at low point, Bourassa said.
“We definitely hope so,” she said. “You never can predict what people are going to do. But I think as far as this suspect, he’s going to lay low.”
Still, law enforcement officials encourage Tahoe Truckee car owners to lock up.
“I always lock my car,” Bourassa said. “It just takes two seconds and it gives you a little security.”