Californian charged in burglary |

Californian charged in burglary

Staff Reports

A North Hollywood, Calif., resident was jailed Feb. 12 on $30,000 bail after witnesses said he took 31 boxes of diabetic test strips from Wal-Mart and battered the security guard who tried to stop him.

Jose Armando Ramirez, 40, and three others were observed behaving suspiciously in the pharmacy aisle at the store.

A witness saw Ramirez remove a number of diabetic test strip packages and place them under clothing in a shopping basket.

The four walked to the hardware aisle and while two women acted as lookouts, Ramirez allegedly put the boxes in his jacket pockets.

The four went to a cashier and paid for some items, but not the test strips.

When Ramirez was confronted outside the store by security, the suspects began to run.

The security guard chased Ramirez through the parking lot to the north side of the building where they scuffled.

The guard managed to restrain him until deputies arrived.

Deputies found 25 boxes of strips in his jacket.

He was jailed on $30,000 bail on charges of burglary and battery.

His companions escaped.

— A 34-year-old Gardnerville man who led deputies on an 80-mile-per-hour chase through town late Feb. 12 had to be pulled from his vehicle after his car crashed on the Highway 395 curve at the Village Motel.

Bill Ray Burch was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, second offense, eluding police and reckless driving.

He is in Douglas County Jail on $3,500 bail.

Deputies said Burch was parked in the Safeway Pharmacy lot at 10:30 p.m. Feb. 12 with the lights flashing on his truck.

A Douglas County sheriff’s deputy stopped to investigate and said Burch approached his patrol car, waved, then left, turning in the wrong lane on Ironwood.

The deputy called for backup and initiated a traffic enforcement stop on Ironwood.

He approached the suspect and noticed a strong smell of alcohol and bloodshot eyes.

As he was interviewing Burch, the deputy said he sped off, ran through the stop sign at Ironwood and headed south on Highway 395 at a high rate of speed.

Burch was clocked at speeds of up to 80 mph in a 25-mph zone before he lost control and crashed his truck at the curve in Gardnerville near the Village Motel.

A deputy had to pull Burch through a passenger-side window because the doors were too damaged to open. He was not injured.

Three patrol units and the Nevada Highway Patrol responded to the accident.

He is set to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Feb. 23.

Records indicate a prior conviction for driving under the influence in September 2003.

— Leonard Allen Semas, 58, of Genoa, was arrested for driving under the influence resulting in an accident early Feb. 11 after his 1998 Jeep Cherokee crashed into a fence at the intersection of Foothill Road and Muller Lane.

A Genoa volunteer firefighter told authorities he saw an abandoned Jeep on its side about 3 a.m., then saw Semas walking southbound on Foothill Road.

He asked Semas if he was OK and offered him a ride back to his vehicle.

According to the report, the man said Semas smelled strongly of alcohol.

He said Semas was reluctant to return to the vehicle, but the firefighter said he had to speak to deputies.

Semas’ blood-alcohol content was .128, according to the deputy’s report.

The legal limit for driving is .08 in Nevada.

Deputies reported damage to a railroad-tie retaining wall and ranch-style fencing at the scene.

Semas was jailed on $15,000 bail.

— A Carson City woman reported Feb. 12 that someone damaged a marker at her son’s grave in the Genoa Cemetery.

The woman said she visited the gravesite on Jan. 29 and the marker, a cross with stained glass, was intact.

When she returned Feb. 12, she said the wood had been split and the glass cracked.

She said the cross was worth $200.

— Deputies are investigating several smashed mailboxes in Topaz Ranch Estates.

A homeowner reported Feb. 10 that he heard a crash and found four mailboxes at the corner of Topaz Ranch Road and Pinenut had been smashed by a vehicle.

A stop sign also was damaged.

Later that night, eight mailboxes were reported damaged at Spattercone and Slate.