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Suspect caught in the act

By: Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor
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Local law enforcement authorities are hopeful that the arrest of a juvenile on Sept. 5 will put a dent in thefts in neighborhoods near South Auburn Street. According to Sgt. Andrew Scott, commander of the Placer Sheriff’s station in Colfax, between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Monday, the resident of a home on the 100 block of East Church Street reported being awakened by noise. Two suspects had forced entry into the house, and one of the suspects was found hiding in the utility room. No items were taken. “We ended up arresting a 17-year-old juvenile, a Colfax resident … One got away,” said Scott, who is not allowed to release the names of juveniles. Last month, Scott said he had noted an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles overnight in nearby neighborhoods between Highway 174 and South Auburn Street. Scott also said that because of recent property crimes, Crimes Against Property detectives conducted numerous probation and parole searches in the greater Colfax area. A parole search was conducted at about 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 at a house on the 50 block of North Foresthill Street where Albert Figurelli, 55, was arrested. “We found 10 marijuana plants growing in his yard, as well as marijuana packaged for sale, methamphetamine packaged for sale, and a digital scale. He was charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of methamphetamine, and a parole hold,” Scott said. A Gearhart Lane resident was also arrested for cultivation of marijuana. Philip Hempel, 51, of Gearhart Lane, was taken into custody at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8. “He had 11 marijuana plants growing in his back yard,” Scott said. On Aug. 10 at about 1:45 p.m., Placer County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Placer County Regional Auto Theft Task Force conducted a probation search at a house in the 26000 block of Green Acres Road, where four suspects were arrested. They included Taylor Sheets, 32, and Elsa Sheets, both transients; and Auburn residents Samantha Dean, 30, and Lindsey Carter, 21. Scott said the four suspects were charged with operating a chop shop, a place where stolen vehicles are taken to conceal the fact they’re stolen, or to dismantle and sell the parts etc. The suspects were also charged with conspiracy and possession of stolen vehicles, including an all-terrain vehicle stolen in Auburn, and a second vehicle. Scott also said Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report at 4:40 p.m. Aug. 17 of a fight involving several young adults at Arbor Park, located at West Main and South Church streets. Scott said it was determined no fight had occurred. However, Lance Vaughan, 20, of Colfax, was arrested for public intoxication.