Two men arrested in burglary case

Dan McDonald
Managing Editor


Two Quincy men were arrested in connection with the Jan. 7 burglary of a Quincy antique store.

According to the Plumas County sheriff, Ralph Chico Cardiel III, 37, was arrested Saturday afternoon, Jan. 11, and charged with burglary and a probation violation.

On Monday night, Jan. 13, deputies arrested Robert Appley, 25, at a residence on Lee Road. Appley was charged with being in possession of stolen property and violating probation.

Cardiel and Appley are suspects in the burglary of the Panache antique store.

According to Investigations Sgt. Steve Peay, Appley was in possession of jewelry and coins that were stolen from the antique store. The property was valued at about $2,000.

The arrests came after a series of at least four burglaries and 20 vehicle break-ins over the past two weeks in the Quincy area.

Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the investigation is ongoing. He said it is too soon to tell if Cardiel and Appley were associated with any of the other break-ins.

“I will say there are striking similarities in all the burglaries that have happened,” Hagwood said.

All four of the reported burglaries were suspected of taking place in the pre-dawn hours.

The most recent break-in happened Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Plumas Charter School’s Quincy office in East Quincy.

Cornerstone Learning, Great Northern Hair Co. and the antique store have also been burglarized.

In the Great Northern and Panache break-ins, the burglar (or burglars) stole jewelry.

Coupled with the high number of vehicle break-ins, the sheriff activated the county’s new “Code Red” emergency alert system about noon Saturday, Jan. 11.

The rapid emergency notification service sends messages via telephone, email and text to residents who are signed up to receive the alerts.

Saturday’s alert warned residents of the “recent rash of thefts” in the Quincy area. The alert advised residents to lock the doors of their vehicles and residences and report suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office.

Hagwood said it was his decision to send the alert.

“The situation became such that these weren’t isolated events,” Hagwood said. “It was an epidemic.”

Hagwood said he is seeing an increase in thefts throughout the county. But he said it was particularly alarming in the greater Quincy area.

In last week’s burglary at the charter school, the burglar stole five computers and damaged other computer equipment. The break-in left the school without phone and Internet service.

According to the school’s executive director, Taletha Washburn, the building’s alarm was triggered about 2:40 a.m. Thursday.

Washburn said whoever broke in appeared to have an idea where to go.

“It makes us very sad,” Washburn said. “I’m a very, very trusting person, so something like this makes us feel very violated.”

Washburn said the burglar (or burglars) entered the building at two different places. A window was broken at one of the entry points.

From there, the burglars stole computers — three netbooks and two laptops — and pulled random wires out of the server. They also took the server’s backup hard drive and a memory chip from the phone system.

The perpetrators also raided the refrigerator, stealing items like ketchup and coffee.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the scene and found no one in the building.

The damage in the server room knocked out the school’s Internet, phone, fax and printers for several hours Thursday morning.

“We have such responsive tech people,” Washburn said, adding that technicians had the systems up and running quickly Thursday morning.

However, the stolen phone chip left the school without a phone voicemail system. The voicemail was still down as of Friday night.

Washburn said there was no disruption to Thursday’s classes.

The school break-in came on the heels of two other burglaries.

During the Jan. 7 Panache burglary and the Dec. 31, 2013, Great Northern break-in, burglars stole jewelry and coins. Great Northern lost $7,300 worth of merchandise.

The sheriff is asking anyone with information about the recent burglaries or break-ins to call 283-6300.

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