by Sheila Gardner

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December 20, 2013
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Suspect may face additional burglary charges

Additional charges may be filed against a 21-year-old Gardnerville man who is the suspect in three Carson Valley restaurant burglaries.

Lee Michael Lawson appeared Friday before East Fork Justice Tom Perkins who appointed lawyer Derrick Lopez to represent him.

Lawson is believed responsible for burglarizing Minden Meat and Deli, Lentine’s and El Aguila Real restaurants, and stealing cash, according to reports.

He is charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools, both felonies; and possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.

Prosecutor Tom Gregory said additional charges may be filed against Lawson.

He is in Douglas County Jail on nearly $30,000 bail, and told Perkins it is unlikely he would be able to bail out.

He was arrested at 4:40 a.m. Thursday by Sgt. Ron Elges.

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.

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. Lawson also had “a wad of cash” in his wallet.

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

Lawson’s bail is $28,146.

His next court appearance is Dec. 27. A preliminary hearing is Jan. 3.

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The Record Courier Updated Dec 21, 2013 11:27AM Published Dec 28, 2013 12:59PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.