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Alleged female burglar turns herself in

Jojo worked as a senior caretaker after high school, mother says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The youngest member of an alleged Auburn-area burglary ring is in custody after a two-week manhunt by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Amanda Marie Jojo, 21, of Colfax, turned herself in to the Placer County Jail Wednesday night. Jojo was booked on charges of burglary and receiving stolen property, both felonies. The Sheriff’s Office considers Jojo to be part of an alleged burglary ring also including Stephanie Jean Cooke-Perez, 27, Jayme Lynn Salcedo, 33, Karissa Dawn Yeager, 27, and Joseph William Einspahr, 30. Einspahr, an Auburn resident, is alleged to be the leader of the group, according to Detective Jim Hudson. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office charged the five with multiple counts of burglary, possessing stolen property and possessing drugs. The ring is allegedly responsible for at least 12 residential and car burglaries in the Auburn area. The Sheriff’s Office believes the stolen items could be worth between $100,000 and $200,000, Hudson said. The office has already found and returned some of the property, worth several thousand dollars, to owners. Einspahr and Cooke-Perez are in custody. Salcedo and Yeager are out on bail. Jojo’s mother, Tracey, of Colfax, who declined to give her current last name, said Jojo contacted her Wednesday for help in turning herself in. “She called me yesterday, and told me to come and pick her up at an undisclosed location,” Tracey said Thursday. “I’m not going to say where.” Tracey said she then drove her daughter to the jail and turned her over to Hudson. “She went into Jim Hudson’s hands at 5:12 p.m.,” Tracey said. “She walked right up to him. They didn’t even put her in handcuffs. She wasn’t forced. This was all her idea.” Hudson said Thursday he couldn’t comment on whether or not the Sheriff’s Office has any new leads on where additional stolen property might be. “We are thankful she turned herself in, and the investigation is continuing,” Hudson said. “We look forward to resolving as many cases as we can.” Tracey said Jojo was born in Modesto and grew up in Colfax. She graduated from Chana High School when she was 17. Tracey said she hadn’t spoken to Jojo for about three-and-a-half weeks before Jojo called to have Tracey pick her up. Jojo is currently a transient, according to Tracey. Tracey said she found out about the charges from a television news broadcast. “I found out on KCRA 3, and it kind of threw me through a loop,” she said. “She has always been a good kid. I didn’t even know what was going on.” Jojo denied her alleged involvement in the burglary ring, Tracey said. “She said she was innocent of it, that she didn’t do it,” she said. “Truly it is all innocent until proven guilty. We don’t know. We weren’t there.” Tracey said she knew a little about Cooke-Perez. “I had just seen her before and heard she wasn’t the greatest person,” she said. Jojo never talked about Einspahr or any of the other suspects, Tracey said. Jojo worked as a caretaker after high school, but Tracey said she couldn’t remember the name of the company Thursday. “Before all this junk happened … she was working with old folks, caring for them, cleaning them up, getting them out of their beds,” Tracey said. Tracey said Jojo was always on the honor roll when she was in high school. “She was a good kid through high school,” she said. “She worked really hard.” According to Hudson, Jojo is expected to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Friday in Auburn’s Placer County Jail courtroom. Jojo is being held in Placer County Jail on a $35,000 bail. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com