A South Lake Tahoe man was arrested Christmas morning after fleeing from a house he had allegedly entered and robbed.
Daniel Vega, 24, and possible accomplices are also suspected of vehicle burglaries in the neighborhood, South Lake Tahoe police officials said in a news release.
Police were called at 6:30 a.m. to the 3100 block of Fresno Avenue, where several visitors from foreign countries had rented a large vacation home for the holidays.
The renters awoke to find Vega – whom they identified, police said, after he was arrested – rummaging though their belongings. When they confronted him, they said, he fled with some of their property.
The robber, who had entered through a second-story sliding-glass door, fell in the snow as he ran out the front door, dropping a folding knife with a 4-inch blade, according to the report. He had not brandished the knife at any of the victims during the crime, police said.
With a description of the burglar, police and El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter around the neighborhood. Officers saw a man in dark clothing running away from the victims’ residence, but, as it was still dark, he couldn’t be found immediately.
During the search, officers heard yelling from a nearby street and found someone who had been chasing a man who had just attempted to steal property from his parked vehicle.
Shortly afterward, an officer found and detained a man matching the intruder’s description on a nearby street. Victims of the residential burglary went to the street and identified the detained man as the burglar.
Vega, who lived a few blocks from the victims’ residence, was booked into the El Dorado County jail on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony.
Police believe there are people who were attempting to rob unlocked cars in the neighborhood at the same time as the residential burglary, according to the report. They are seeking the public’s assistance in locating the additional robbers and missing property.
Items believed to have been taken from parked cars were found in areas near the victims’ residence, but do not belong to them. Investigators are looking for a Mac laptop computer with several stickers on it and a woman’s brown and gray purse with a strap. The purse contains identification, Indian currency and other contents.