The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office on March 29 issued arrest warrants in the Feb. 1, 2012 gold theft from the Siskiyou County Courthouse.
David Dean Johnson, 49, of El Cerrito, Calif. and Scott Wayne Baily, 51, of El Sobrante, Calif. are being sought as the primary suspects in the case and are named in the $1 million arrest warrants issued through the Siskiyou County District Attorney's Office and Siskiyou County Superior Court. After a long and comprehensive investigation, the suspects were identified as persons of interest in the case and later, prime suspects.
Over $1 million worth of donated, historic gold specimines were stolen from a display case in the front entry of the courthouse. The unique display of nuggets found in Siskiyou County was the largest of its kind before the theft.
On March 28, 2013, Major Crimes Unit Detectives from the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office traveled to the Bay Area searching for suspects in the burglary and grand theft case after the arrest warrants were issued. Although the suspects were not located, additional evidence was seized and detectives are optimistic that the arrest warrants will lead to the arrest of the primary suspects in the case.
On January 15, 2013 Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) detectives and members of the Siskiyou County-Wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force (SCINTF) served a series of search warrants at Shasta County and Bay Area residences pursuant to the on-going investigation into the theft.
One residence was located in Redding and the other in the City of Shasta Lake. Two residences were also searched in Contra Costa County, one in El Cerrito and one in El Sobrante. The search warrants were the result of a then nearly year-long investigation of the courthouse gold burglary that occurred.
The investigation revealed that at least some of the gold proceeds may have been used to purchase various high-value items.
According to an insurance investigation, and estimated $1,257,500 in gold, jewelry and artifacts were taken in the burglary and theft.
Sheriff Jon Lopey stated "This has been a long an arduous investigation involving the crimes perpetrated by the suspects responsible for burglarizing our court house and stealing an historic gold display and other antiquities which cannot be replaced. These thieves stole a part of Siskiyou County history, which represents the hard work, sacrifice, traditions, and pioneer spirit which characterizes the personality of Siskiyou County and its citizens – past and present.
"Although we still have a lot of work to do in this case, the issuance of the felony arrest warrants should result in the arrest of the suspects. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator, whose authorization to elevate the reward to $50,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects contributed to some investigative leads in the case."
Page 2 of 2 - Lopey said the SCSO Detective Unit did an excellent job investigating this case and SCSO also received assistance and support from the Siskiyou County District Attorney's Office of Investigations, California Department of Justice Crime Lab (Redding), Siskiyou County Wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Shasta County Sheriff's Office, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office and other local agencies in the Bay Area.