Sonora police arrested three Sacramento residents after finding dozens of unopened DVDs, four video game controllers and 16 unopened bottles of alcohol, all believed to have been stolen, in their van.
Police announced Friday that one of the burglary suspects gave his younger brother's name when he was arrested so police would not discover he had an outstanding felony warrant related to grand theft and a probation violation. The man's younger brother, an intern for the Sacramento County district attorney's office, told authorities it wasn't the first time his brother had used his name.
Officials were on alert Tuesday afternoon after the Angels Camp Blockbuster was burglarized, said Lt. Mark Stinson. Two women and a man went into the video store and moved a slew of new movies and games onto a shelf near the front of the store. When the clerk was distracted, Stinson said, the group grabbed the items and left the store, running to a van in the parking lot as the alarm sounded.
The store clerk was able to get a license plate number and description of the van, Stinson said, which authorities found near the Sonora Blockbuster, at 1031 Sanguinetti Road. Inside, they found 49 DVD movies; 29 DVD games; and the game controllers and bottles of liquor, which had an estimated value of $1,200. Officials said they believe the trio stole the alcohol from Rite Aid in Angels Camp.
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They arrested Clifford Clarence Carthen, 25; Lamesha Finister, 26; and Nieneta Bland, 30, on suspicion of felony burglary and felony possession of stolen property. Carthen initially told police his name was Dwayne.
Bland also was arrested on an outstanding federal warrant related to tax evasion. Carthen picked up two other possible felonies, related to false impersonation and the outstanding warrant, once officials checked his fingerprints and correctly identified him Wednesday.
Carthen and Bland remained in custody Sunday night at Tuolumne County Jail because of their out-of-county warrants, but Finister no longer was in jail, officials said.
Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2235.