Chico, CA – On November 20th, 2017 at 2:50pm Officers responded to the area of Bidwell Jr. High School on a reported theft from a vehicle. The victim told Officers that she was teaching a class at the Recreation Center and had been unloading instructional items from the vehicle. There was a period of about 30 minutes where the victim left her unlocked vehicle unattended. During that time, a suspect had unlawfully entered her vehicle and took some personal items. One of those items was a handgun. The victim stated that her family had been on a camping trip over the weekend and did not return until late last night. With their late return and rain, they unloaded as little as they could and mistakenly forgot the handgun was inside.
The victim spoke with other people who were around the Recreation Center during the time of the theft. One of the described subjects was a white male subject on a bike, towing a bike trailer. After the victim spoke with Officers, she drove around the area looking for anyone on a bicycle towing a bike trailer. The victim saw someone who matched the general description by Dutch Bros on Cohasset Road. The victim called Chico Dispatch and radioed that information. Officers were in the area also looking for suspects and stopped the described subject in front of K-Mart. That suspect was identified as Lucas East, a 24-year old homeless male from Chico. During a detention search, the subject was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun. The handgun was a match to the one that was taken from the victim just 1 hour earlier. East was in possession of other items taken from the victim’s vehicle along with other items taken from another vehicle burglary. All stolen items were documented and returned to the respective owners.
East was arrested and transported to Chico PD. East was charged with Grand Theft from a vehicle and Possession of Stolen Property. East was later transported to Butte County Jail with a bail of $30,000. Chico Police would like to remind the public to always lock your car. Traditionally, as the Holiday season approaches, all types of theft increase. As we saw in this case, theft is a crime of opportunity and often times can occur within just a few minutes.
Location: 2300 Block of North Avenue
Date/Time: 11-20-17 at 1450 hours
Incident: Case Number 17-7939
Suspect: Lucas East, 24-year old homeless male from Chico
Supervisor: Sgt. Todd Lefkowitz S20
Watch Commander: Cmdr: Billy Aldridge C4