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Evidence in garbage can leads to busts

Robyn Moormeister

A Grass Valley resident tending to his trash resulted in the arrest of two men for burglary Thursday night.

Wesley Coons, 18, and a male juvenile are in custody at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility and Carl F. Bryan II Regional Juvenile Hall, respectively, after police linked them to a burglary and theft of a handgun. The police were tipped off by a resident who found evidence of the crime in his garbage.

The Cypress Hill resident found an empty plastic case for a Browning 9 mm pistol in his trash can when he went to retrieve it from the curb in front of his house on Celesta Drive Wednesday; he called police.

The case had the gun’s serial number on the side, and police ran a computer check to determine it had been stolen from a Grass Valley home.

They interviewed the gun owner, who was able to provide information leading to the arrests.

Investigators also interviewed other members of the Cypress Hill neighborhood, who reported seeing a group of juveniles in the area at the time the box was dropped.

Police searched for the gun at a home in a remote area of Nevada County for several hours Friday but did not find it.

Grass Valley Police Capt. Dave Remillard said investigators are currently searching a second site and are confident they will retrieve the weapon.

Remillard credits the resident for calling law enforcement as soon as he saw something suspicious.

“The citizen was alert,” he said. “It’s always better to call. What if they had never said anything? The gun could have been used in a crime.”

Remillard said to keep a gun from falling into the wrong hands – such as the suspects he said are “wanna-be gangbangers” – it is always wise to keep it stored away and out of reach.

“Lock your guns,” Remillard said. “Use trigger locks and a safe or a lock box. Don’t make them available for people to take.”

The juvenile was booked on suspicion of burglary, and Coons was booked on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and possession of stolen property.


To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.

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