Trio arrested at old power dam after stolen vehicle found |

Trio arrested at old power dam after stolen vehicle found

Deputies are looking for anyone who was the victim of a vehicle burglary over the past month after a trio of Californians were found with a large amount of property at the old Power Dam south of Gardnerville on Sunday.

A woman in her 40s claiming to be Paula Leavitt, Jeremy Stritenberger, 43, and John Clark, 54, were taken into custody on Sunday evening.

On Monday, after information on the arrests was publicized, the sheriff’s office received several calls that the woman in the photo was actually Riki Eltingham, 41, who has a felony warrant out of Calaveras County.

Eltingham then told jail authorities that she is going by her maiden name Scibella. She is being held without bail on the warrant.

The woman and Stritenberger are facing charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and stolen property as a result of their arrest.

According to the sheriff’s office, they were in possession of a Toyota Tacoma and log splitter reported stolen July 12 out of Yuba City, Calif. 

The woman was arraigned for possession of a stolen vehicle and giving deputies a false identity in East Fork Justice Court. She continued to claim to be Leavitt in court. Kris Brown was appointed to represent her. Leavitt’s bail was set at more than $57,000.

Stritenberger was arraigned on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a credit card without the holder’s permission and fraudulent use of a credit card. He will be represented by Maria Pence. His bail was set at $62,526.

Sheriff’s Spokesman Jeff Schemenauer said deputies found large amounts of property and personal effects inside the Tacoma believed to have been stolen at different times.

He asked that anyone who has been victim of a vehicle burglary contact Investigator Brandon Williamson at 775-782-9927 to discover whether their property is among the items recovered.

Clark, 54, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and was released on his own recognizance on Monday. Mathew Work’s law firm was appointed to represent him when he returns to court on Aug. 14.

A missing Jeep was recovered after deputies responded to a report someone had abandoned it at the Kingsbury Chevron on Saturday night.

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Tauni Arduengo, 28, was arrested for climbing into the Jeep, which was left running, and driving it off.

Arduengo has warrants out of East Fork and Carson City justice courts.

She appeared in East Fork Justice Court on Monday morning.