Burglars hit GV, NC shops | TheUnion.com

Burglars hit GV, NC shops

It was a wild night in Grass Valley and Nevada City, with smash-and-grab burglaries reported by five businesses.

And Foothill Flowers in downtown Grass Valley had double trouble: A second burglar allegedly broke into the store’s basement, stole several candelabras and went on a rampage through downtown Grass Valley.

The first burglary was discovered by Jaaziel Heckathorn, one of the owners of Pampered Earth Kids, in the 400 block of Commercial Street in Nevada City, a little after 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“We closed at 5:30, and I came back at about 7. I noticed the back door window was broken,” Heckathorn said. “There is a dead bolt (on the door), but it needs a key – otherwise, he would have slipped right in.”

The would-be thief apparently couldn’t get in, and nothing appeared to be missing from the store.

Next, an attempted burglary was reported at Rogers Picture Framing, in the 200 block of Spring Street, at 7:11 p.m. Wednesday. The burglar broke a window to gain access to the business, said Nevada City Police Sgt. Paul Rohde.

“Once they were inside, they triggered the alarm, and they left,” Rohde said Thursday. “It pays to have alarms; the alarm at Rogers paid for itself last night.”

Several more burglaries – one successful – were reported later Wednesday night in Grass Valley. It is not clear whether they involve the same perpetrator.

“We are investigating that,” Rohde said. “We haven’t physically been able to connect them.”

An alert Grass Valley neighbor called law enforcement at 7:58 p.m. to report a man had fled out the back of Foothill Flowers, in the 100 block of West Main Street.

“I thought it was pretty brazen; it wasn’t late in the evening,” said owner Mark Johnson. “The person kicked in our back door. They broke the jamb and went right to the front part of the store, but the register was open and had no money in it. Our alarm was going off, so I think he got spooked.”

A burglary at Hot Dog Heaven in the 1200 block of East Main Street was discovered a little after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“We have two windows in the back of business,” said owner George Dyer. “He busted one window that goes into a bathroom, but couldn’t get in. Then, he busted a window next to the back door.

“It was barricaded with a two-by-four and a dead bolt, but he managed to reach in and get the two-by-four off,” Dyer added. The burglar “ended up smashing the door in, which was no easy task because it’s a huge, heavy thing.”

The burglar hit both cash registers in the restaurant, stealing an unspecified amount of cash.

“We go in there later, generally, and do the cash,” Dyer said. “It’s very rare to have that money there. It was just bad timing … It made for a bad day.”

A third burglary was reported by a business in the 700 block of South Auburn Street when it was opened Thursday morning, said Grass Valley Police Capt. Dave Remillard.

“It was a similar m.o.,” he said. “They took cash and miscellaneous property.”

Remillard reminded business owners to remove cash and easily accessible valuables from businesses before closing.

“We have some good leads on this, and we’re following up on them,” he added.

Foothill Flowers owner Mark Johnson got a second call at about 4 a.m. from Grass Valley police.

“I got a call saying they wanted me back at the flower shop,” Johnson said. “I thought it was related, but it was a new burglary.”

A man identified as Allen Richard Mosley, 30, allegedly broke a grate in the sidewalk to enter the business’ basement and take several wrought iron, seven-branch wedding candelabras.

“He would have to be a very strong person,” Johnson said. “He bent back and pulled off the whole grate.”

Several people called from Mill and Neal streets to report a man carrying candelabras, shouting and banging on buildings.

At about 5 a.m., Grass Valley Police officers responded to a call of metal in the road at Main and South Auburn streets, which proved to be the grate from Foothill Flowers, Remillard said.

Mosley was located “holding a large candelabra,” Remillard said. “He was highly agitated and uncooperative. He was not making sense, taking about God and demons.”

He was arrested on suspicion of burglary, vandalism, being in possessing of stolen property and resisting a peace officer. He is being held in lieu of $10,750 bail.

Mosley was arrested in November 2008 under similar circumstances.

A woman who lived in the 19000 block of McCourtney Road called the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office at 7:30 p.m. to report a “strange man” had walked in. Mosley allegedly went into the bathroom to “wash his feet with holy water,” then took a ribbon off the wall, tying it around a dog’s neck.

Mosley allegedly took a piece of jewelry before leaving the house, so family members detained him until Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies arrived.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

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