Friday, October 4, 2013

5 years for first Siskiyou Courthouse gold robber

YREKA, Calif. — One of two men accused of breaking into the Siskiyou County Courthouse and stealing $1.26 million worth of historic gold nuggets, jewelry and other artifacts in 2012 will spend five years in prison.

Scott Wayne Bailey, 51, of San Pablo, Calif., was found guilty Thursday in Siskiyou County of second-degree burglary in excess of $200,000. "We didn't offer him any plea bargains. He pleaded guilty as charged," Siskiyou County District Attorney J. Kirk Andrus said. Another year could have been added to Bailey's sentence if the theft had exceeded $1.3 million, Andrus added.

Andrus said Bailey did not disclose what he and Johnson did with the pilfered gold.
"He gave no information in court. I mean nothing," Andrus said. "I pointed out in very forceful terms that shows a complete lack of remorse."

Officials said that Bailey asked for probation at the hearing, as he had no prior convictions. The request was denied. "This moved him right to the head of the class here," Andrus said. "There's just nothing like this. I mean, stealing gold from a public courthouse."


The second suspect in the theft of $1.2 million in gold from the Siskiyou County Courthouse is now at the Siskiyou County Jail. Scott Wayne Bailey, age 51 of El Sobrante was booked in the jail Monday night, said sheriff's spokesperson Jayme Lynch. He was charged with felony burglary and had bail set at $1 million.

Bailey's suspected accomplice in the burglary, David Dean Johnson, age 49 of El Cerrito, turned himself in to Siskiyou County Sheriff's detectives on April 1. He is also being held at the Siskiyou County Jail on $1 million bail.

In a news release this week, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department said it had issued felony arrest warrants for 49-year-old David Dean Johnson of El Cerrito and 51-year-old Scott Wayne Bailey of El Sobrante. The pair are the primary suspects in the heist, authorities said.

“This has been a long an arduous investigation involving ... suspects responsible for burglarizing our courthouse and stealing a historic gold display and other antiquities which cannot be replaced," Sheriff Jon Lopey said in the release.,0,2066081.story
The gold, taken by two hooded suspects shown on security video, was part of a historic gold display tied to the county's role in the California Gold Rush and was worth more than $1.25 million, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's department.

The stolen items were described as "historic gold nuggets mined by some of the first settlers in the remote California-Oregon border."