Thief hits Alta Sierra swap meet vendors |

Thief hits Alta Sierra swap meet vendors

A thief cut a chainlink fence to gain access to the area where a number of vendors had set up for a monthly swap meet in Alta Sierra, making off with thousands of dollars in goods.

The swap meet is held the first Sunday of every month at Alta Sierra Mini Storage, said manager MaryJo Nightingale.

"People set up Saturday night," Nightingale said. "We've never, ever, ever had a problem."

The storage facility is completely fenced up to Highway 49, and the gate was locked, she said. But that didn't stop the enterprising thief, who cut the fence and peeled it back up near the highway at some point between 5 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday.

The thief reportedly broke into a high-end RV and stole a bicycle and a boat motor before stealing items from at least seven vendors.

"As the morning progressed … we realized the person had gone through everyone's stuff," Nightingale said. "We found some items hidden in the bushes — a shop vac, some fishing gear, some knitted scarves belonging to an elderly (vendor)."

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According to Nightingale, that vendor lost approximately 60 scarves and purses, about $1,500 worth.

"It's just so sad," Nightingale added. "Now we're going to have to have someone there all night" before the swap meets.

Anyone with information can call the Nevada County Sheriff's Office at 530-265-1471.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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