Neighbors thwart burglary |

Neighbors thwart burglary

Staff reports

Three teen-agers were arrested early Sunday after they broke into a vehicle on Angora in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the the burglary was thwarted by alert neighbors who called DCSO to report a suspicious vehicle that was driving behind Scarselli Elementary School without lights on.

“Officers responded to the area, located and stopped the suspicious vehicle … and arrested the three listed juveniles,” said Sgt. Lance Modispacher. “It was learned that the three had gone to PayLess Drug earlier in the evening and purchased a screw driver for the purpose of entering a vehicle and stealing a car stereo.”

Modispacher said two of the juveniles had been walking the streets in search of unlocked vehicles while the third suspect drove the vehicle with the lights off in an attempt to not be detected.

Two of the juveniles, Javier de la Torre, 15, of Indian Hills, and Jason Sawicki, 16, of Winhaven, appeared before District Judge Michael Gibbons on Monday for a detention hearing to determine if they should be released from Carson City juvenile facilities before their petition hearing.

Gibbons ordered de la Torre, who was on probation, to remain in detention until a petition hearing next Monday. He placed Sawicki on house arrest until his petition hearing April 14.

The third suspect, a 16-year-old Johnson Lane resident, was released to the custody of his parents because the detention center was full.

The boys, all students at Douglas High School, are charged with felony burglary, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit burglary, both gross misdemeanors, curfew violation and minor in possession of alcohol, both misdemeanors.

Modispacher said the suspects apparently were scared off before they were able to remove the victim’s stereo. Burglary tools included a screw driver, dent puller or slam hammer, glass cutter and two small wooden bats, he said.

Modispacher said the apprehension of the teen-agers was a good example of the DCSO Neighborhood Watch program.

“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office held a Neighborhood Watch program on Wednesday night, March 19, at the Scarselli Elementary School, just three days before,” Modispacher said.

He also said the crime pointed out the need for the Douglas County curfew – 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends for any person under 18 – as well as a reminder that vehicles and residences should be locked.

“Sad, but true, about 75 percent of the theft crimes involve young persons, specifically juveniles and minors under the age of 20 years,” Modispacher said. “Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has also experienced that 90 percent of the vehicle burglaries reported are categorized as ‘no forced entry.’ In other words, the vehicles were left unlocked.”

Modispacher reminded residents to leave homes and vehicles locked, store items of value out of sight and report all suspicious vehicles and juveniles, especially after curfew.

“Crime travels by the automobile,” he said, recommending that residents leave outside lights on all night to discourage thieves.

He also said that Neighborhood Watch programs are available for any residential area in Douglas County.

“This request can be made by just a very few of the residents in a specific area or a whole block of people, whichever is convenient for the citizens,” he said. “Meetings can be held in the local school or in a residence. Prevention, detection and reporting of suspicious cars, persons and crimes will be discussed.”

For information, Modispacher can be reached at 782-9931.