A pair of Grass Valley men remained in jail Friday after Nevada County Sheriff’s Deputies raided their home and recovered stolen property linking them to at least 10 area burglaries in recent months.
Stephen Madonna and Brent R.D. Wilkins, both 20, were arrested Thursday afternoon when the red Nissan sedan they were driving was reported as suspicious by a caller in the area of Casa Loma Drive and East Home Place, southeast of Grass Valley, according sheriff office’s dispatch reports.
Deputies approached the vehicle and allegedly spotted a handgun safe in the back seat that matched the description of one that had been stolen from a home on the 14000 block of Liquidambar Lane, said Sheriff Keith Royal.
Sheriff’s deputies subsequently obtained a search warrant for Madonna and Wilkins’ residence on the 19000 block of North Home Place, where Royal said a stockpile of stolen property was recovered.
“We’ve connected them to nine additional burglaries,” Royal said. “In all, they may be connected to as many as 20 burglaries.”
Among the allegedly recovered items at the residence were several bags of jewelry, electronics, another safe, power tools and weapons, including rifles and one pistol from the vehicle, said Sgt. Dan Saunders. In coming weeks, investigators will scour recent burglaries, looking to connect the pair, Saunders said.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Saunders said. “We’ll be looking for burglaries with similar M.O.s (modus operandi).”
The 10 burglaries Madonna and Wilkins have reportedly been tied to occurred during the day at unoccupied homes, Saunders said.
Investigators believe the pair would approach a cased residence and knock on the door. If someone answered, they would ask directions or act as though they were at the wrong house. If no one was home, Saunders said doors were kicked in.
These burglaries took place around Grass Valley and in the Alta Sierra area around Dog Bar Road, Saunders said. The sheriff’s office plans to contact victims in the coming weeks to arrange for evidence viewings, he said.
Madonna was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail on two felony charges of second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy as of press time Friday. Wilkins, whose bail is also $150,000, has the same charges as well as felony possession of narcotic substance.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.
“We’ve connected them to nine additional burglaries. In all, they may be connected to as many as 20 burglaries.”
— Sheriff Keith Royal