Authorities arrested Nathan Gilbert, 28, on a hillside outside Grass Valley not far from a reported burglary, which resulted in a search that prompted the emergency lockdown of two Nevada County schools Friday.
Gilbert, who is on the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office’s most-wanted list, is alleged to have broken into a home on the 13000 block of Empress Road shortly after 11 a.m. while a woman was home, said Lt. Steve Tripp.
“She was in the house at the time, unbeknownst to him, I believe,” Tripp said. “She barricaded herself in another room or a closet and called (911).”
The caller got a good description of the alleged perpetrator, said Capt. Shannan Moon, also with the sheriff’s department.
“When the officers arrived, he was already out of the house,” Tripp said.
The fleeing suspect was described as a white male in his 20s, wearing a white T-shirt with neck tattoos — a description that matched Gilbert, Tripp said.
“We’re pretty confident that he matches the description of the perpetrator,” Tripp said.
“Over the years, I’ve been dealing with him since I was deputy. He’s a frequent flyer with us. He’s regularly in and out of law enforcement contact.”
Gilbert, a transient, reportedly fled the residence by way of a Nevada Irrigation Ditch waterway, Moon said.
A nearby K-9 dog unit of the sheriff’s office responded to track the suspect, Moon said. With the waterway running near the two schools, the call was made to lock them down.
An assisting California Highway Patrol officer reportedly spotted Gilbert at 1:21 p.m. on a nearby hillside and arrested him, Tripp said.
His arrest location was listed as the 13000 block of Witt Lane, just off Bitney Springs Road, according to the Nevada County jail’s website.
Gilbert was charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, as well as a probation violation. He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to the jail’s website.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s dispatch at 530-265-7880.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.