The search for a stolen sweatshirt led El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies to a much larger find: a missing truck.
On the morning of Oct. 21, deputies responded to a reported strong-armed robbery at the El Dorado Hills Town Center, said sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Golmitz.
Deputies contacted the victims and were told that a group of juveniles used “fear and intimidation” to take a cell phone and sweatshirt, Golmitz said.
By the time deputies arrived, the suspects had fled the area and were not immediately located.
Several hours later, deputies were called to the Texas Hill subdivision in Placerville over concerns of a suspicious vehicle in the area.
A worried resident told authorities that his neighbor’s vehicle had been pulling in and out of driveways. This concerned the resident, Golmitz said, because the neighbor whose truck was seen going from house to house was out of town.
Deputies searched the area, eventually locating and detaining two subjects — one male adult and one male juvenile. It was then that deputies noticed the juvenile was wearing a sweatshirt that matched the description of the one that had been reported stolen earlier in the day.
Believing that the two detained subjects were possibly linked to the earlier reported robbery in El Dorado Hills, deputies contacted and transported the two robbery victims to the Texas Hill scene.
There, the robbery victims positively identified the two detained subjects as the ones who had robbed them at Town Center earlier in the day, Golmitz said.
The juvenile and the man were arrested, at which time deputies learned one of the subjects was apparently in possession of the cell phone that had been reported stolen earlier that day.
During a subsequent search of the area, Golmitz said deputies located the suspicious pickup truck parked in a residential driveway. Authorities learned that the vehicle had been stolen. Inside the truck, deputies found items thought also to have been stolen.
One of the subjects arrested, identified as 19-year-old Bret Massey, was booked into the Placerville jail on suspicion of robbery and possession of marijuana.
On Wednesday, Massey appeared in an El Dorado County Superior Courtroom. Deputy public defender David Cramer requested that the court lower Massey’s bail amount from $51,500.
Cramer said the allegations were “not insignificant” but noted that Massey had not been accused of using a weapon during the reported robbery.
Prosecutor Worth Dikeman opposed Cramer’s request and said the District Attorney’s Office could soon be filing charges against Massey linking him to the theft of the pickup truck.
Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister ultimately denied Cramer’s request and scheduled Massey’s next court appearance for Nov. 14.
As of press time, Massey remained in custody of the Sheriff’s Department.