SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – Three 18-year-old Placerville residents are under arrest on charges they carried out a string of car thefts and burglaries in South Lake Tahoe this week.
South Lake Tahoe Police started fielding reports about car thefts Monday evening. The first incident was a 1991 Jeep Cherokee stolen in front of a house along Bowers Avenue. Less than a mile away, later Monday night, a 1991 Subaru Outback was stolen from the parking lot of the Inn by the Lake along Lake Tahoe Boulevard.
Officers were soon hot on the trail of the three after a burglary Tuesday morning. A man woke up to see three young men taking some stuff out of his unlocked car along Lodi Avenue. The man tried to confront the teens, but they took off in the stolen Subaru.
The stolen car was soon found abandoned in the parking lot of the Nickelodeon Motel along Lake Tahoe Boulevard. South Lake Tahoe Police officers, along with El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies, soon found the suspects hiding out in a nearby Grocery Outlet store.
Arrested were Elija Kidwell, Brian Barnes and Sean Murphy. They face felony auto theft charges, along with possession of stolen property and conspiracy charges.
Police have not been able to find the stolen Jeep. A third car, a 1996 Subaru Legacy with California plates of 6AON070, was stolen from the parking lot of a McDonald’s along Emerald Bay Road as the suspects were being booked at the El Dorado County Jail.
Winter cold months are the prime time thieves target unlocked cars, police note.