Two arrested in connection with multiple thefts, Cascade Shores burglary | TheUnion.com

Two arrested in connection with multiple thefts, Cascade Shores burglary

Arjuna Ramakar

Some multi-agency cooperation resulted in the arrest of two men in connection with a large amount of stolen property, including a truck and SUV and a mini-crane.

A little after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Nevada County Sheriff's deputy responded to a report of a construction site burglary in Cascade Shores, said Sheriff's Lt. Rob Bringolf in a social media post on the incident. According to Bringolf, a quad runner and some halogen construction lights were stolen from Pasquale Road near Santa Fe Trail.

Just before noon, a suspected shoplifter was caught at Kmart by security, but was able to flee on foot, said Grass Valley Police Sgt. Jason Perry. That man was linked to a car in the parking lot with a man waiting inside, Perry said.

Inside the car were the stolen halogen construction lights. The car's license plate returned to a residence on Goldbug Lane in Cascade Shores, not too far from the construction site, Bringolf said.

The man inside the car, identified as Dustin Michael Kerr, 35, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, possession of stolen property and burglary tools, and possessing a controlled substance and a concealed knife. He was booked into county jail and released on $16,000 bail.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies went to the Goldbug Lane residence and contacted the homeowner, who allowed them to search common areas shared by the homeowner and other tenants. In the garage, deputies reportedly found a mini crane used for transporting large pieces of glass on job sites. Bringolf said a detective determined the $100,000 piece of equipment belonged to Pro Glass in Grass Valley and had been stolen.

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A cargo trailer in the driveway was found to have been stolen from Red Bluff and was filled with valuable camping equipment, Bringolf said.

Detectives subsequently obtained a search warrant for the residence and found two drilled-out safes, camping equipment and other possibly stolen items.

A tow truck driver was called to remove the crane, and he told deputies about a Ford Excursion that "slow-rolled" past the driveway. According to Bringolf, a similar vehicle was reported earlier in the day in connection with a man stealing packages out of a truck in Grass Valley.

In that incident, at 1 p.m., a man reported that he saw the suspect take a large Amazon box from the back of his truck, which contained bluetooth speakers worth $100.

That Ford Excursion was also potentially linked to a stolen vehicle report from Truckee in which the thief took an Excursion and left behind a Toyota Tundra that had been stolen from Grass Valley. Bringolf said the suspect who lived at the Goldbug Lane address had been seen driving a Tundra and then an Excursion.

A Grass Valley Police officer spotted the Excursion on Highway 49 Tuesday night and a vehicle pursuit ensued, with the driver leading officers through town and up Highway 20, Bringolf said. The fleeing Excursion ran out of fuel at Harmony Ridge Road, however.

Arjuna Ramakar, 50, was arrested and charged with recklessly evading an officer, vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle and driving on a suspended license, as well as violating post-release community supervision. A female passenger was not detained.

He was in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday and was appointed a public defender. He is set to enter a plea on Feb. 8 and remains in custody on $75,000 bail.

The investigation linking Ramakar to the series of thefts and the possession of stolen property is ongoing, said Nevada County Sheriff's Lt. Rob Bringolf.

According to Santa Cruz County court records, Ramakar was arrested in October 2014 and was convicted of petty theft and possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary tools and identity theft information. He was sentenced in January 2015 to four years in state prison, court records state.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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