Crowbar burglary suspects caught |

Crowbar burglary suspects caught

Staff Reports
Investigators at the scene of a breakin where three people were arrested on Friday monring in Indian Hills.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office |

A burglary ring suspected of using a crowbar to enter homes was broken up when law enforcement officers took a trio of suspects into custody on Friday morning.

Two men and a woman allegedly forced entry into a home in Valley Crest Estates behind the Home Depot in Indian Hills.

They were found inside the home when deputies and investigators arrived on the scene. Several items of stolen property were found and the trio appeared to have forced their way in.

Arrested were Jeffrey Lee Stephens, 44, Jean Rene Winters, 45, and Joseph Alan Winters 48, all of South Lake Tahoe, according to Sgt. Jim Halsey of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Also at the scene was a white 2000 Ford Explorer, described in an earlier burglary attempt in Minden.

“The investigation has so far revealed that the suspects may be responsible for other residential burglaries committed throughout the region,” Halsey said in a statement.

Douglas County is working with El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and South Lake Tahoe Police investigators to determine each person’s level of involvement.

Anyone who has seen the suspects or their vehicle in their neighborhood, or been contacted by them, is asked to call DCSO Investigators Ted Duzan or John Preston at 775-782-9905.

A week ago today, a Minden woman said she was in her home when two men using a crowbar tried to break into her home on Esmeralda Avenue through the front door.

The victim said she was watching television in the living room about 2 p.m., and heard a loud knocking at her front door.

By the time she reached the door, the woman said she heard what sounded like someone using a shoulder to break down the door, and a crunching noise that sounded like a crowbar.

She said the men fled in an older white Ford Explorer or truck when she yelled at them through the door to leave.

The woman called 911 and was able to copy the license number that was traced to a South Lake Tahoe man who reported his plate was stolen Saturday.