Tahoe National Forest offers $500 reward for info on thefts | TheUnion.com

Tahoe National Forest offers $500 reward for info on thefts

Ronnie Ray Custer

The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday it is offering a reward of up to $500 for the recovery of stolen firefighter equipment and/or any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the theft.

The equipment and other stolen items were taken from Tahoe National Forest Headquarters in Nevada City during late December to early January, the release states.

Nevada City police officers arrested a transient at a nearby campsite on Jan. 7 in connection with the theft of about $10,000 in equipment. Missing items included handheld radios, clothing, sleeping gear, fire shelters, compasses and a Garmin GPS, as well as credit cards, Sgt. Sean Mason said at the time.

Police officers had responded to a report of a vehicle break-in at the Tahoe National Forest supervisor’s office on Coyote Street after a thief broke into locked toolboxes in the bed of a firefighter’s truck that was locked and parked in a fenced area. Forest service personnel located a number of stolen items at a campsite on Sugarloaf, Mason said.

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Ronnie Ray Custer, 50, was arrested and has been charged with possessing stolen property. He was out of custody Thursday on his own recognizance, court records state.

A Forest Service spokesman was not able to provide details on what stolen items are still missing or if other suspects are believed to be involved in the theft. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations Office at Tahoe National Forest Service Headquarters at 530-265-4531.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lizk@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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