On March 21, 2018 at approximately 1 p.m., it was discovered that multiple storage trailers located at the Butte County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Search and Rescue building in Chico had been broken into. The burglary suspects cut locks that had been put on the trailers and stole approximately $23,000 worth of dive equipment used by the Butte County Dive and Rescue Team and members of Butte County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue.
BCSO Patrol Deputies and Detectives with the BCSO Felony Investigations Unit initiated an investigation into the Search and Rescue burglary. Through the investigation, BCSO Deputies and Detectives determined the burglary was connected to a recent burglary at the Skyway Golf Park.
On Saturday, March 24, through the collection of evidence in the process of the investigation, it was discovered that Dusty Mason of Magalia, and a 17 year old juvenile, were responsible for the burglary of the BCSO Search and Rescue trailers and the Skyway Golf Park. BCSO Detectives interviewed the juvenile, who confessed to the burglary at BCSO Search and Rescue and stated that he concealed a portion of the stolen property at Mason’s mother’s house in Tehama County.
BCSO Deputies and Detectives contacted Mason’s mother, Kelly Bruce, in Tehama County and conducted a search of her residence. During the search, approximately $10,000 worth of equipment associated to the burglaries was recovered.
Through the investigation, BCSO Deputies and Detectives learned that additional property associated to the burglaries was thrown into The Sacramento River.
BCSO Detectives contacted the Butte County Dive and Rescue Team and the BCSO Marine Unit and coordinated the collection of $2,500 of additional property in The Sacramento River. There is still approximately $10,500 worth of dive masks, scuba tanks and miscellaneous scuba equipment that remains missing at this time.
BCSO Deputies and Detectives have made three arrests associated to this case:
· 17 Year Old Male Juvenile, arrested for Possession of Stolen Property, and Burglary
· Dustin Mason, Age 29 from Magalia, arrested for Burglary, Violation of Probation, Resisting Arrest, and Possession of Stolen Property
· Kayla Keehl, Age 26 from Magalia, arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and as an Accessory
Butte County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens that the Butte County Dive and Rescue Team and The Butte County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team are the only water rescue teams in Butte County. The teams conduct water rescues and water recoveries. The loss of equipment associated to this theft is detrimental to their mission to provide water rescue and recovery services to the citizens of Butte County. Citizens who happen to locate dive equipment near the Sacramento River are encouraged to contact the BCSO Felony Investigations Unit at 530.538.7671.