Restaurant burglary suspect arrested |

Restaurant burglary suspect arrested

by Sheila Gardner

A 21-year-old Gardnerville man was arrested early Thursday in connection with burglaries at three local restaurants.

Douglas County Sgt. Pat Brooks said Lee Lawson is believed responsible for burglarizing Minden Meat and Deli, Lentine's and El Aguila Real restaurants, and stealing cash.

He was arrested at 4:40 a.m. by Sgt. Ron Elges on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.

According to court documents, Elges observed Lawson walking on Highway 395 between Gilman and Douglas Avenue carrying a backpack that matched one in a video circulated following the burglary Sunday at the Minden deli.

Lawson told Elges he was walking home from his job on Airport Road. He said the backpack was heavy because there were coins in the bottom.

Elges questioned him about the deli burglary, but Lawson said he had been sleeping when the crime took place.

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According to reports, the deli burglar dumped a tip jar in the backpack.

A search of the backpack revealed coins, two screwdrivers, a hammer and beanie.

According to reports, Lawson confessed to the three burglaries, two of which were committed Thursday.

Lawson's bail is $28,146.

He is scheduled to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Friday morning.

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