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Burglary suspect behind bars

A man police believe is the “pillowcase burglar” was arrested late Thursday in Elk Grove when he returned home from another residential theft, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office said.

Police suspect Juan Marcos Ledesma, 44, has committed about 15 residential burglaries in Nevada County and as many as 50 in Nevada, Placer and El Dorado counties, Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Smith said.

Ledesma has confessed to the string of crimes and is cooperating with authorities. Nevada County Sheriff’s Det. William Netherby interviewed Ledesma late Thursday, Smith said.



A task force from Nevada and Placer county sheriffs’ investigators and Auburn police have been working on the case for months.

“At another burglary in Placer County, he cut himself on the glass breaking into a window,” Smith said. “They got a sample of the blood and checked it through the DNA database and got his name.”




Based on more information they were able to gather by knowing his name, the task force got a search warrant Thursday in Placer County and staked out Ledesma’s home on the 9500 block of Four Winds Drive in Elk Grove.

“He was just returning from a residential burglary he’d committed in El Dorado County” when police arrested him, Smith said.

Although some property was recovered at the house, none of it appeared to have been taken from the Nevada County burglaries, Smith said.

The burglaries were first reported in mid-September in southern Nevada County in neighborhoods along Highway 49. Apparently, the man did not want to commit the burglaries close to his home, Smith said.

At the time of arrest, Ledesma was high on heroin, Smith said. “You need about $1,000 worth of stolen property to buy $100 worth of heroin, so you always need to steal.”

Ledesma had recently been released from prison on parole, but information was not immediately available as to the crime for which he has served time.

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To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion .com or call 477-4231.


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