Grass Valley man arrested in connection with theft of two cars
A Grass Valley man with a lengthy criminal history in Nevada County was arrested Sunday in connection with a burglary in Alta Sierra and the theft of two cars.
Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the residence a little before 9 a.m. after landscapers discovered someone had forced entry to the house, said Lt. Bill Smethers.
Multiple items were stolen from the residence, including a 2012 Audi and a 2013 Nissan Altima, Smethers said.
At about 6:30 p.m., Grass Valley Police officers located the stolen Audi in the 300 block of Hazel Lane, and were able to tie it to a residence in the 300 block of North Church Street, Smethers said.
A deputy located the suspect, identified as Joshua David Packard, 33, on foot on Highway 49 and Coyote Street at about 11 p.m., but released him at the scene.
But 10 minutes later, a caller reported a suspicious vehicle parked on Coyote Street just above the fire station, near a transient camp. The deputy who responded found the missing Altima, and a witness identified Packard as the driver, who had left the scene.
He was located again and arrested on suspicion of second-degree burglary, vehicle theft and possessing stolen property; he is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. According to Smethers, a second suspect, and the other stolen property, is still being sought.
Packard has 11 felony cases dating back to 2000. He was arrested in 2007 for evading Grass Valley police officers in a high-speed car chase through residential neighborhoods.
When he was arrested, he reportedly was found with a loaded semi-automatic pistol, a loaded magazine for the pistol and a 5-inch folding knife.
That same year, he was charged by a federal grand jury with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and had previous felony convictions for grand theft, forging checks, possessing a controlled substance and evading a peace officer.
Most recently, he was arrested in February after he reportedly stole a vehicle and “an assortment” of items from the site of a multi-agency raid on Purdon Road.
The owner of the property had been arrested, and his son subsequently called 911 to report that Packard had stolen his father’s pickup as well as a number of items, including an air rifle, a metal detector, paintball guns, a chainsaw, a surveillance camera system and assorted gemstones. He was charged with vehicle theft and first-degree burglary, and is set to return to Nevada County Superior Court to enter a plea Thursday.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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