Thursday, 25 July 2024

Lakeport burglaries continue; deputy nabs Lucerne burglary suspect

LAKEPORT – A string of commercial burglaries that started earlier this month is continuing across the city of Lakeport.


Three Lakeport businesses were burglarized and a fourth had a broken window on Dec. 21, as Lake County News has reported.


The burglaries continued on Dec. 24, when Lake County Cleaners and The Healing Earth, both on N. Main, were hit, according to Lakeport Police.


On the same day, Kerrie's Quilting on N. Main and Prestige Tattoo on S. Main were vandalized, with the glass on the quilting shop's door broken out, police reported.


“We've been getting hammered,” said Police Chief Kevin Burke.


Burke said the motive for the burglaries on Dec. 24 appear to be the same as those on Dec. 21, when windows were broken out and petty cash was stolen.


He said his department has some leads in the burglaries.


“It's very unusual for us to get hit like this,” he said. “This volume is really unusual.”


Burke has talked to some business owners and is urging them to increase lighting. He's also putting on extra officers at night to try to stop the burglaries.


Lake County Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Melissa Fulton said she was sending out an alert to chamber members.


“You've got the issue of people looking for quick cash,” a problem made worse by the tough economy, Fulton said.


Clearlake Police logs show that the city of Clearlake doesn't appear to have had similar problems with commercial burglaries. However, the Highlands High Campus computer lab was burglarized on Dec. 16, and there have been several home burglaries over the past month.


Sheriff Rod Mitchell said that his department isn't seeing any unusual spike in burglaries.


“Last year at this time we had a large increase,” he said. “This year we didn't see it.”


He said his deputies are working in partnership with Lakeport Police regarding a Monday traffic stop that resulted in an arrest for a stolen vehicle and stolen property.


At 11:25 a.m. Monday a “be on the lookout” was broadcast for law enforcement officers to watch for a red 1994 Mazda pickup stolen from Monte Mar Drive in Lucerne, Mitchell said. Approximately 25 minute later, Deputy Todd Dunia spotted the pickup traveling eastbound on Highway 20.


Dunia pulled over the pickup, which was being driven by John Alvie Ferrell, 23, of Lucerne. Mitchell said Ferrell initially gave Dunia a different name.


Ferrell wasn't alone in the pickup, which also allegedly contained some stolen property, including a 12-gauge and 20-gauge shotgun, Mitchell said. The guns allegedly were stolen from a different location than the pickup.


Dunia arrested Ferrell, who was booked into the Lake County Jail on several felony charges, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, receiving stolen property and possessing a stolen vehicle. Mitchell said Ferrell also is being charged with giving a peace officer a false identity.


Ferrell remained in custody on $10,000 bail on Tuesday, according to jail records.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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