The victim of a vehicle break-in in downtown Grass Valley helped nab the alleged burglars after spotting the two men in front of the store where they reportedly had sold many of the stolen items.
Joseph Tassone said he discovered the burglary at about 8:30 a.m. Monday and suspects his vehicle had been broken into sometime earlier that morning.
The burglars made off with about 30 Frisbee golf discs in bags worth an estimated $500, Tassone said.
They also took his school backpack, but he found the items from that scattered around the area.
“The stuff they stole, we figured they were going to try to sell,” he said. “The only place they could sell it was the Bargain Barn, so we headed over there to talk to the owner.”
As Tassone arrived at the store with his father, they saw two guys walking out, holding his disc golf bag.
When the two men were confronted, they denied the theft, Tassone said.
“We just wanted our stuff back,” he said,
One of the men reportedly pulled a folding knife with the blade exposed and pointed it at the victims before fleeing, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Joe Matteoni.
The owner of the Bargain Barn had taken down the two men’s IDs after purchasing the discs, so officers were able to identify them, Tassone said.
“I was driving home when I saw the guys” at a nearby gas station, he said. “I stopped and called the cops.”
Officers subsequently arrested Brad Lee Pinneo, 34, and Christopher Robert Wilson, 25.
Pinneo was booked into county jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary, possessing stolen property and criminal conspiracy, as well as an outstanding misdemeanor warrant; he was being held in lieu of $12,500 bail.
Wilson was charged with burglary, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property, as well as exhibiting a deadly weapon and violating probation; he was being held in county jail in lieu of $11,750 bail.
It is not clear if Wilson and Pinneo are responsible for the rash of vehicle break-ins that has plagued Grass valley recently.
“We are actively investigating that possibility,” Matteoni said.
The duo had ditched the disc golf bag they had been spotted with earlier that morning, Tassone said.
And he is unsure whether he will get the discs back that have been seized as evidence, since the thieves allegedly wiped his name off all but one.
“I’m just glad we got these guys caught,” he said. “It’s disgusting and stupid.”
Tassone said he had not locked his vehicle, thinking its messy condition would be an adequate deterrent.
“This was definitely a check,” he said. “I will be locking my car all the time now.”
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.