Third suspect arrested in TRE burglaries |

Third suspect arrested in TRE burglaries

by Sheila Gardner

Bail is $25,000 for a third suspect in a series of burglaries in Topaz Ranch Estates.

James DeLima Jr., 46, was charged with grand larceny and possession of stolen property in connection with the theft of a wood splitter from a TRE residence.

According to the criminal complaint, DeLima is accused of soliciting Jakob Green, 22, and Adam Westmark, 21, in obtaining the wood splitter which a resident reported stolen. He allegedly paid them $100 each.

Westmark and Green are in custody on several charges stemming from the break-ins which allegedly occurred in December and early January.

Investigators recovered $15,000-$20,000 in items, but authorities believe there may be more victims and unreported burglaries.

Investigators recovered a wood splitter, plasma cutter, a water pump that belonged to Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District, DVDs and other tools.

DeLima said at his arraignment in East Fork Justice Court on Tuesday he had no money and supported his fiancee, mother and three children on what he earns working at the Sleeping Elephant Ranch where he lives.

Judge Tom Perkins appointed lawyer Kris Brown to represent DeLima.

The suspect asked that his bail be reduced or that he be released on his own recognizance.

Perkins declined, but told DeLima he could bring it up Wednesday at his next court appearance.

Capt. John Milby said Tuesday that two groups of alleged burglars had been working in the Topaz Ranch Estates over the last two months. He said authorities do not believe the incidents were related.

“It was an isolated increase attributable to these two groups,” Milby said in an interview. “We’re not seeing a trend out there beyond these two groups operating. We suspect with these guys in custody, crimes will go down out there.”

Recent arrests include brothers Thomas Darter, 19, and Dennis Darter, 18, of Gardnerville, accused in separate incidents in TRE.

Dennis Darter is accused of stealing a .357-magnum rifle, ammunition and three swords from a garage in Topaz Ranch Estates in December.

Thomas Darter is accused of breaking into Topaz Joe’s with a juvenile accomplice on Nov. 29 and stealing alcohol.

For information about the burglaries, or to report a loss, call Investigator Jon Storke at 782-9905.