NC man allegedly linked to string of car burglaries |
by liz kellar
Staff Writer

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NC man allegedly linked to string of car burglaries

Keith Rushing

A Nevada City man spotted trying to break into a vehicle in Grass Valley has been linked to a number of similar burglaries in the area, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Clint Bates.

A woman living in an apartment complex in the 500 block of Whiting Street called 911 at about 12:30 a.m. Monday to report that a man just tried to break into her vehicle but was scared off by the alarm and ran. She said he also had been in the neighbor's car, according to dispatch reports.

Officers did an area check and saw the suspect leaning into a vehicle while using a flashlight, Bates said.

The man, identified as Keith Alexander Rushing, 19, of Nevada City, allegedly was found with meth in his possession.

"An investigation revealed (Rushing) entered at least seven vehicles in the area," Bates said. "And we've taken a total of nine (similar) cases over the last five days in that area. We're doing follow-up; this is still under investigation."

Rushing was booked into county jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

According to Grass Valley Police Capt. Rex Marks, there frequently is a correlation between drug abuse and property crime.

"It's not in every case, but more often than not, there is a definite correlation between property crime and illicit drug use and sales and distribution," he said. "It's the cycle of needing the income to support the habit; it's pretty common."

It's tempting to think of Nevada County as a safe, crime-free environment, but that is no longer the case, Marks said.

"People need to realize that (crime) can happen, and it does happen," he said, adding that complacency can create an invitation for would-be criminals to take advantage.

Marks stressed that residents need to follow basic safety tips.

"Don't leave your valuables in plain sight," he said. "Keep your vehicles secure. Keep areas clean and well lit.

"Being aware of what your neighbors are doing, getting to know them — that in itself can be a huge deterrent if everyone knows everybody," Marks added.

Investigating burglaries can be very time intensive for law enforcement agencies because so few victims can readily identify their valuables, particularly electronics, Marks said. He suggested keeping a record of serial numbers or purchasing an engraver.

"Take the time to take some photos or video of your property and keep it in a safe place," he said. "These are the things that people often don't think about e_SLps The insurance companies will love you."

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call (530) 477-4229.