Crime - Sacto 911

Christmas thieves spotted unwrapping stolen presents

An estimated $16,000 worth of property, including numerous wrapped gifts taken from under the Christmas tree, were recovered and returned to a Chico-area family following a home burglary.

Butte County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Wells Island Road near Chico about 4:40 p.m. Friday regarding a residential burglary. The homeowner, who had just returned, found that someone and broken into her house and taken numerous items.

Missing items included a television, desk-top computer, two iPads, a large amount of jewelry, miscellaneous household items, antiques, electronics and wrapped presents from under the Christmas tree, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

About the same time, other Butte County deputies were dispatched to the area of Centerville Road ad Nimshew Run Road regarding reports of two males outside a maroon-colored SUV opening Christmas presents.

The man who contacted the Sheriff’s Office reported that the two became nervous when they saw him and left, heading down Centerville Road. Deputies searched the area and found the maroon SUV hidden under a pile of brush and wood pallets. No one was in the vehicle.

Additional deputies responded to the area and found a man later identified as 27-year-old Joshua Olson. Olson admitted that he had been in the SUV along with another man, James Rogers, who was not located, sheriff’s officials said.

During a search of the SUV, deputies found numerous items, including a television, desktop computer, two iPads, jewelry, numerous household items and wrapped Christmas presents.

They also located 8.8 grams of methamphetamine and syringes used to inject controlled substances. In addition, sheriff’s officials said, paperwork was found in the vehicle with the address of the Wells Island Road residence where the burglary had just been reported, indicating the property was taken from the address.

Deputies contacted the burglary victim and learned that the property found in the SUV matched the property taken from her home. The property, including the wrapped Christmas presents, were returned to the victim.

Olson was arrested on suspicion of burglary, receiving known stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sheriff’s officials ask anyone with information regarding James Rogers to call the Butte County Sheriff’s office at 530-538-7322.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy