An investigation into the theft of bicycles belonging to a Truckee bicycle shop last month led to the recovery Tuesday of items stolen in recent auto and residential burglaries in the community.
The investigation began shortly after 9 p.m. Nov. 21, when Truckee police were notified that a trailer containing numerous new bicycles had been found near Alder Creek Road. Officers discovered that the trailer belonged to a local bicycle shop owner and had been stolen from his front yard sometime during the day. When the shop owner arrived, it was determined that numerous new bicycles, still in boxes, were missing from the trailer, according to a Police Department news release.
Officers talked to several witnesses who gave a description of a suspect vehicle. A short time later, officers found a vehicle matching the description parked in an apartment complex. They set up surveillance, and when the owner, identified as Lisandro Rangel, 25, returned to the vehicle, he was arrested on suspicion of theft and possession of stolen property.
During the investigation, officers found an apartment Rangel was visiting in the complex. Several more stolen bicycles were found on the stairwell leading to the apartment, and all were identified by the bicycle shop owner as belonging to him, police said.
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The next day, a Nevada County sheriff’s deputy found several more stolen bicycles, still in boxes, off Prosser Dam Road. These bicycles also were identified by the bicycle shop owner and returned to him.
During the investigation at the apartment, patrol officers developed additional information on other possible theft cases in the area, police said. On Tuesday, Truckee police served a search warrant at the apartment, where they found numerous pieces of stolen property from recent auto and residential burglaries in the community.
During service of the search warrant, officers took Claudia Chavez, 27, into custody. She is accused of several felonies, including burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of a dangerous weapon, police said. Chavez was booked into Nevada County jail in Truckee with bail set at $52,500.
Police said Rangel was on parole for burglary and had an outstanding felony warrant out of Oregon. When he was arrested, Rangel was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and burglary tools, police said. He was booked into Nevada County jail on suspicion of numerous felony offenses and remains in custody on a no-bail parole hold from the state of Oregon in addition to the local charges.
Police credited area residents for being willing to come forward and assist in solving the case. They also urged people to secure their vehicles and homes, particularly during the holiday season, and to keep packages and belongings out of sight so thieves are not tempted.