Steve Klassen’s brand new Wave Rave outlet store in Bishop hasn’t even opened for business yet but that didn’t stop a trio of residents from allegedly breaking in Sunday and stealing merchandise, according to police.
The Bishop residents were arrested not long after the late-night/early-morning break-in after police literally followed a trail of clues to the residence in which they were hiding.
Arrested on felony charges of receiving stolen property were Tara Brolsma, 30, Darrell Maddox, 18, and Vincente Soto, 19. Brolsma was also arrested on an unrelated warrant. All three are being held in Inyo County Jail in Independence on bail of $10,000 each.
The Wave Rave smash-and-grab followed a similar burglary at Rite Aid just up the highway about 20 minutes prior. Both burglaries triggered alarms inside the businesses that alerted authorities.
The first burglary was reported just after 1:25 a.m. to the Bishop Police Department, which was asked to respond on behalf of the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department whose lone available deputy was en route to Inyo County Jail with an arrestee at the time.
According to BPD Public Information Officer Katie Coffman, a front window had been broken out of the Rite Aid store and items had been taken. According to Sheriff’s Detective Kelvin Johnston, these items turned out to be four bottles of Jägermeister from a locked liquor cabinet.
Officers cleared the building and determined the suspects were no longer on site.
As officers were securing the scene for the Sheriff’s Department investigator, they were dispatched to a second burglary alarm, this time at Wave Rave.
Officers arrived about 1:40 a.m. to find the front glass door smashed and clothing strewn about the front of the building.
In fact, officers found “a trail” of stolen items leading to one of the residences behind the outlet store, according to Coffman. Johnston, who arrived a short time after the PD, said officers found a pair of pants lying on Early Pond Road, the dirt driveway leading south to the apartments behind Wave Rave. Walking the road, they also found tags from clothing items and noticed a light on in the upstairs apartment belonging to Brolsma. According to Johnston, officers were about to make contact with the residents to see if anyone had witnessed the burglary when they came across “a whole pile of clothes” outside the apartment.
According to Coffman, the officers set up a perimeter and waited for Johnston and a deputy arrive.
“We attempted to make contact with the occupants twice and after the second time one individual did come out,” Johnston said.
Maddox was taken into custody and the other occupants of the apartment were told the authorities would be back with a search warrant.
Soto exited the apartment just before they served the search warrant, according to Johnston, while Brolsma was taken into custody inside the apartment.
Johnston said he, the deputy and BPD officers discovered additional stolen merchandise inside the residence, including the Jägermeister.
Both businesses are tallying the dollar amount in damages done during the burglaries and the cost of the items stolen.
Johnston said the investigation is continuing.