Suspect faces two felonies in Big 5 theft |

Suspect faces two felonies in Big 5 theft

by Sheila Gardner

A 39-year-old Stateline man, with a long history of burglaries and vehicle break-ins, was charged with two felonies in connection with a similar incident Tuesday at Big 5 Sporting Goods.

Eric Thompson appeared Friday in East Fork Justice Court. He is charged with burglary and attempted burglary.

Prosecutor Karen Dustman said because Thompson’s prior history includes prior felony convictions, he is facing up to 10-15 years in prison if convicted of the new offenses.

Senior Justice Steven McMorris left Thompson’s bail at $53,000.

His next appearance is Sept. 22 with court-appointed attorney Derrick Lopez.

In seeking his release, Thompson told the judge his wife had a baby 10 days ago, and he was to undergo surgery Sept. 23.

“My family depends on me for support,” he said.

He told McMorris he believed the charges should be dropped to misdemeanor petty theft and willful, wanton theft.

Deputies were dispatched to Big 5 Sporting Goods in Minden for a burglary in progress shortly after noon Tuesday.

Witnesses said they saw the suspect break a window in a woman’s pickup as he attempted to pry open the door in front of the sporting goods store.

One of the deputies saw the suspect run across Highway 395 toward the medical center where they found him waiting for his wife.

As deputies arrested Thompson, he said he had a knife in his waistband, similar to one witnesses claimed the suspect used to attempt entry to the vehicle.

Deputies also found an iPod docking station and binoculars with Big 5 price tags in his vehicle which had been reported stolen from the store.

A surveillance video from the store reportedly showed the suspect taking the binoculars and docking station.

When Thompson was booked at the Douglas County Jail, pieces of broken glass were found in his shorts pockets.

McMorris told Thompson if he bails out, he may not leave Northern Nevada prior to his next hearing and would be under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing.