A Woodland High School wood shop teacher whose tip led to an arrest in the Father’s Day burglary of the Dos Coyotes restaurant in Folsom was presented with a $5,000 reward by the restaurant’s owner.
Michael Monk received the reward Thursday for identifying the man suspected of breaking into the business. He said he was shocked when he saw video footage of the incident on a local news station, which he said showed a former classmate from his 1978 Highlands High School graduating class making his way into the Dos Coyotes restaurant through the ceiling.
“I was getting ready for work and (the video) came out on TV in the morning,” Monk said. “I saw him dropping down from the roof and there he was.”
Monk and the man, who he identified to police as 56-year-old Kenneth Alan Basnett, had remained friends after high school.
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The Dos Coyotes burglary occurred about 7 a.m. June 19. Security cameras captured a man wearing an orange reflective vest cut through the roof of the restaurant and lowering himself into the building.
Bobby Coyote, owner and founder of Folsom’s Dos Coyotes Border Cafe, received a phone call from his general manager just after the incident, telling him that the restaurant’s alarm system had gone off.
They would later find the man-sized hole left in the restaurant’s office ceiling and roof. The man had also cut wires that disabled the store’s cash registers, causing a Father’s Day closure of the restaurant and costing Coyote roughly $20,000 in repairs and sales for the day, he said.
“The whole place was kind of in shambles,” Coyote said.
The next day, a public relations group helped Coyote post security camera footage of the incident online. The video was picked up by local TV stations and Coyote announced a $5,000 reward for clues leading to the man’s arrest, he said.
“I just felt like it was a real dangerous situation and that we had an opportunity to catch this person,” Coyote said. “You just never know when someone is there first thing in the morning to ambush your crew.”
Monk called a tip line set up by the Folsom Police Department after seeing the video and identified the burglar as Basnett. Monk said that Basnett had used drugs in the past and that his friend had told him stories of committing similar crimes before.
“It’s the fact that he needs to get some help,” Monk said. “He needs to get things straightened out before the end of our life journey.”
While Folsom detectives were investigating Basnett as a suspect, he was arrested after police say he attempted to break into Cold Stone Creamery on West Stockton Boulevard in Elk Grove.
Basnett pleaded no contest to the burglaries. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and received a suspended sentence of three years and eight months in state prison. He is being treated in a diversion program, which, if successfully completed, will allow him to avoid prison.
Detective Donald Rowberry of the Folsom Police Department said the program is designed to deal with factors that lead to criminal behavior, such a drug addiction or gambling.
Coyote presented Monk with the $5,000 reward check at Dos Coyotes Border Cafe in Folsom.
Monk, who also coaches the school’s golf teams and wrestling team, said he plans to donate the money to Woodland High School to help purchase supplies for his students, some of whom don’t have funds to afford shop supplies or athletic gear.
“I don’t think that there’s anyone that I would rather give it to,” Coyote said about the reward. “It’s just a win-win situation. It’s just beautiful.”