Man arrested for stealing firearms
A transient was arrested in Nevada City on Tuesday after reportedly manipulating two runaway youths to lead him to a cache of firearms. He faces several charges, including strong-arm robbery and kidnapping.
Andrew Everett Gall, 25, was found after an investigation by Nevada County Sheriff’s investigators led them to the missing juveniles and then to Gall’s sister in Chico, who described his van.
He was arrested Tuesday evening and booked at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility shortly after midnight on additional charges of criminal conspiracy, carrying a loaded firearm in public and violating probation. Two others were taken into custody with him, and the sheriff’s office said the other suspects were manipulated into doing favors for Gall.
“Was someone in danger? Yes, I think so,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Powell said.
The investigation began May 12, when a woman on the 14200 block of North Bloomfield Road reported her home had been burglarized and eight firearms were stolen. The firearms were two shotguns and five handguns: Three Smith and Wesson revolvers, .45-caliber, .38-caliber and .22 caliber; a Star .45-caliber pistol and a Beretta 9 mm pistol.
At that time, the woman’s 16-year-old son had run away with his 15-year-old girlfriend.
Investigators searched for the youths for several days before an anonymous telephone caller said they were at an apartment. Both were taken into custody.
“These kids were cold and had nowhere else to stay,” Powell said. “(Gall) found and befriended them. They hooked up with this Andrew Gall because they had no place to stay.”
The teenagers told officers that Gall made them lead him to the weapons at the boy’s mother’s house. The boy was physically and verbally abused into cooperating, Powell said.
“We are pretty positive he manipulated these kids to show them where the weapons were,” Powell said. “(The boy) was extremely naive.”
Officers tracked Gall to his sister’s home in Chico Tuesday, and she told them he was driving a green Plymouth van with heavy damage to one of its sides.
A deputy spotted the van on the corner of Bennett and Spring streets in Nevada City at 7:53 p.m. and arrested Gall and two others.
Donavin D. Virgil, 19, was arrested for receiving stolen property, and another female juvenile was taken into custody.
The girl told investigators that at least two of the firearms had been sold in Chico. Officers found two of the guns in the car, one of them loaded and hidden under the passenger seat.
Powell said Gall posed a serious danger to the juveniles.
“Why would you carry a loaded weapon under the seat?” he said. “He was good at what he does.”
None of the juveniles had any physical marks of abuse, Powell said, except for the male runaway. He “was tossed around and threatened,” Powell said.
In Nevada County, Gall pleaded no contest in 2003 to a charge of trespassing stemming from a May 2002 arrest in Truckee. Charges of burglary, threatening a crime and battery against a cohabitant were dropped.
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