Equipment theft caught on camera; suspect caught
The man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in equipment from the Twin Rivers Unified School District last week was nabbed by police after a witness in a second robbery identified the man as the same person.
Alexander Diony Hleuka, 31, was arrested Monday evening by the Sacramento Police Department and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on one count of burglary in connection to the robbery of a chainsaw at Ace Plumbing, Heating, and Air located near McClellan Airport, according to Bryce Heinlein, a spokesman for the department.
He was later charged with a secondary felony burglary for allegedly stealing $20,000 to $30,000 in laptops and high-end specialized tools from a Twin Rivers Unified School District office burglarized on Sept. 29, according to Twin Rivers police.
Hleuka was identified as the suspect in the office burglary after a person called the Twin Rivers Police Department and tipped them off that the man pictured in media reports in connection to the incident had already been arrested in a separate burglary on Monday, said Lt. David Lugo, a spokesman for the Twin Rivers Police Department.
“We were able to tie him to this burglary as a result of your help,” Lugo said of the media reports.
Scott Faulk, a general manager for Ace Plumbing, Heating and Air said he was the one to phone in to police about Hleuka after seeing his photograph in a newspaper. The reports identified him as the suspect in the office burglary, Faulk said.
“I saw that picture in the paper (Tuesday morning) and said, ‘Son of a gun, that’s the same guy,” Faulk said.
Faulk said he came face to face with Hleuka the day prior when the 31-year-old was seen taking a chainsaw from his workplace. The incident happened at around 11:15 a.m. when Ace Plumbing, Heating and Air security cameras picked up an unknown man walking into the company’s warehouse.
“We saw him walk in and then walk out with the chainsaw,” Faulk said about the video footage.
Faulk said that the man, who police have now identified as Hleuka, did not take the chainsaw, but rather stashed it in bushes surrounding a gated patio area at the location.
At around 6:15 p.m. the same day, Faulk said he recognized the same man that was on the video footage come back to the store to the location where the chainsaw was stashed.
“I just was excited that he was dumb enough to come back,” Faulk said.
Faulk decided to act, closing the tall gate surrounding the business’s patio area and trapping the man, he said. He immediately called 911 and waited for police to arrive, he said.
“He told me, ‘I didn’t take your chainsaw, I just came back to take a pee,’” Faulk said about Hleuka.
Hleuka hopped the fence and fled on foot, according to Faulk. He said he got into his car and followed Hleuka until Sacramento Police Department officers were able to arrest him.
Hleuka’s bail is set at a total of $40,000 for both counts, according to Sacramento County inmate records. Lugo said Hleuka is a transient of the North Highlands area.
“He’s already in custody and he was not willing to provide us with any information (regarding) where the stuff is,” Lugo said about the items taken from the Twin Rivers Unified School District office. “Being that he is a transient, I don't anticipate that we are going to recover it.”
Hleuka’s next court date is set for Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.