Three teens, mother questioned in vehicle break-ins

GARDNERVILLE - Three teenagers and the mother of one of the suspects were being questioned Tuesday in connection with a string of vehicle burglaries in Minden and Gardnerville.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office reported that an anonymous Chichester Estates resident reported young people in the neighborhood late Monday whom he did not recognize.

Officers responded about 11 p.m. and observed the teens using a flashlight to look in parked cars. As the officers moved in, one of the teens tossed the flashlight on the ground.

Officers recognized the two 18-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl who was with them. Authorities believe the trio is responsible for 20 to 30 vehicle burglaries in the subdivision and other parts of Minden and Gardnerville.

"The suspects did not remove property from all the vehicles that they entered," said DCSO Sgt. Lance Modispacher. "All of the vehicles were left unlocked by the victims. There was no forced entry detected. There was property removed from approximately 15 vehicles in Gardnerville and Minden."

According to Modispacher, officers recovered four cell phones, four radar detectors, two portable compact disc players, sunglasses, a camera, about 30 compact discs, a flashlight and two pairs of handcuffs. Modispacher said the items were valued at $1,200 to $1,500.

The suspects told authorities that the 40-year-old is the mother of the 13-year-old. She reportedly purchased stolen property from one of the boys. Some of the property was found at her residence in Topaz Ranch Estates.

Modispacher warned residents to make sure their vehicles are locked.

"Do not leave valuables inside vehicles in plain sight," he said. "This is a very common practice for criminals. They go from car to car checking the doors and looking inside the car for things to steal."

No arrests have been made pending the outcome of an investigation, Modispacher said.

Officers believe the Chichester Estates incidents and an Industrial Way burglary, reported earlier Monday, are unrelated.


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