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Alleged State Recreation Area burglars facing felonies

Items being returned to victims
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Two people are facing multiple felony charges after being arrested in connection to several car burglaries, including some in the Auburn State Recreation Area. Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Lonnie Michael Flashman, 34, and Amy Kathleen Hoffman-Draper, 21, Oct. 30 in the parking lot of the Motel 6 on Arden Way in Sacramento, according to Sgt. Tim Curran, spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. According to Curran, deputies had determined Flashman was on searchable probation and recovered property from his vehicle and motel room that investigators identified as stolen. The items included purses, backpacks, driver’s licenses, credit cards, a rifle and a handgun. Deputies also found illegal narcotics and marijuana. Investigators believe the property was stolen from at least 40 victims, Curran said. “They also believe the property was stolen during car burglaries committed throughout the region, including a rash of recent car burglaries which occurred at several American River Parkway facilities,” Curran said in a press release. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office charged Flashman with seven felonies including entering an undercover Sacramento County Sheriff’s car with intent to commit larceny, possessing ecstasy pills and unlawfully possessing two rifles and one handgun. Five other counts involved having various stolen items, according to court documents. Hoffman-Draper was charged with three felony counts of having the same stolen items, including a wallet, iPad, Sony Walkman, flash drives, purse, camera and more, according to court documents. Brian Robertson, supervising ranger for the Auburn State Recreation Area, said Oct. 28 there was a spike in car burglaries that included six thefts in one day. The Sheriff’s Office did not connect Flashman and Hoffman-Draper to all the thefts, Curran said. Robertson said some of the crimes occurred by the Confluence near Old Foresthill Road and two others took place on the Lake Clementine access road. “It’s just unbelievable the nerve of these folks,” Robertson said Friday. “And most of the time they work in teams. (Burglars think), ‘Hey, these folks are going to the park. They are going to be out there for hours.’” Robertson referred to the burglaries as “smash and grabs” where a burglar will see something that attracts him or her through a car window, smash the window and take the item. While car burglaries happen every now and then, spikes in activity put rangers on high alert, Robertson said. “It’s really sporadic,” he said. “We can go weeks and weeks without any burglaries. When (spikes happen) we immediately kind of go into an overdrive.” After the thefts, rangers contacted the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area for assistance, Robertson said. Robertson said after the arrests, the spike did not continue, and some of the victims have already identified their stolen property among what was collected. “We have been working on trying to get items back to victims of the auto burglaries,” he said. Flashman and Hoffman-Draper’s next court dates are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Sacramento County Main Jail on I Street. Flashman is being held in Sacramento County Jail and is ineligible for bail. Hoffman-Draper is also in custody with a $50,000 bail. Robertson said rangers always attempt to tell visitors the importance of securing their belongings when they park their cars. “If we see anybody at those parking lots, we always meet and greet,” he said. “We go out of our way to educate the public.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com