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January 22, 2014

Turlock residents suspected in 21 Monterey area burglaries

Two Turlock residents are suspected in 21 burglaries in the Monterey area after being stopped near the home of filmmaker George Lucas in Marin County.

Two Turlock residents are suspected in 21 burglaries in the Monterey area after being stopped near the home of filmmaker George Lucas in Marin County.

Marin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Doug Pittman was on Lucas Valley Road patrolling a rural and wealthy area of the county Saturday night when he saw a truck pulled over near the front gate of Skywalker Ranch.

“For the vehicle to be there is unusual to begin with,” Pittman said. “Then he appeared to be shocked to see me and he stuck his arm out the window and waved me on.”

Pittman did drive on – and up a hill, where he turned off his lights and watched. He got behind the truck, which proceeded to drive at far less than the speed limit and slow almost to a stop in front of each home.

After he followed the truck for some time, Pittman said it crossed over a double-yellow line, so he pulled over the driver on the traffic violation.

That’s when he learned that the driver and passenger, Daniel Allen Coats, 32, and Heather Victoria Salen, 30, both of Turlock, were on active parole and probation.

Pittman called for additional deputies to respond, and they searched the truck. Inside, they found suspected burglary equipment, such as lock-picking tools, shaved keys, a pry bar, bolt cutters, two-way radios and flashlights.

Items in the car that authorities believe were stolen ran the gamut from mail and credit cards to clothing, jewelry and tools.

Pittman said investigators continue to sort through the property; much of it has been linked to 21 burglaries in the Monterey and Carmel areas. Pittman said Coats and Salen admitted during an interview to being in that area of the Central Coast.

A handgun, ammunition and drugs also were found in the car.

Coats and Salen were booked into the Marin County Jail on suspicion of possessing burglary tools and stolen property, violating probation and parole, and other charges.

Both suspects were arrested on similar charges after a suspicious fire at their Turlock home on Sunnyside Drive in December, according to the Turlock Journal. Police searched the home and found stolen credit cards, driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, the paper reported.

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