Teenagers admit breaking into liquor store
October 24, 2011
Three Lake Tahoe teenagers face extensive probation conditions after they admitted breaking into a Stateline liquor store and stealing alcohol, soda, cigarettes and a box of red lollipops.
Joplin Rusty Ruebottom, 18, David Jeremy Baker, 19, and Derrick Anthony Fieguth, 18, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit burglary, a gross misdemeanor.
The trio admitted breaking into Dart Discount Liquor on Sept. 20. The defendants said they stole two bottles of alcohol, three cartons of cigarettes, two bottles of soda and the lollipops.
Restitution for the stolen items was set at $315.
They also broke a plate glass door valued at just over $1,000.
District Judge Michael Gibbons set sentencing for Nov. 7
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Prosecutor Maria Pence said the victim asked that rather than jail terms, the defendants be ordered “to do something with their lives.”
“The store owner was concerned that the defendants were not in school and not working. He felt very strongly that they be court-ordered to do something with their lives,” Pence said.
Because of their ages, she said the victim did not want them to have felony convictions.
Probation conditions include substance abuse evaluations and recommended treatment, full-time enrollment in school or employment.
If they’re not working or in school, the defendants must work 40 hours a week community service and prove they have submitted five job applications each.
They are subject to search and seizure for drugs and alcohol and random testing.
Lawyer Derrick Lopez, representing Baker, said none of they suspects was old enough to buy alcohol, so they broke into the store and stole three bottles.
“A number of factors indicate they are very young people. This was not a sophisticated crime,” Lopez said. “It’s been a huge wake-up call for my client.”
They face up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
“Obviously, you need to be on your best behavior,” Gibbons said. “I would suggest you try and get jobs immediately so you can pay restitution.”
He released Baker and Ruebottom on their own recognizance; Fieguth had already bailed out.