Sheriff’s Christmas-kettle bell ringer collars Best Buy computer theft suspect

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A bell-ringing Placer County Sheriff’s Office detective was in the right place at the right time to arrest a Best Buy theft suspect in North Auburn.

The theft occurred Wednesday morning at Best Buy, with a man quickly leaving the electronics store just before 10 a.m. with a $600 laptop computer and driving off in a car, a sheriff’s spokeswoman said.

The car was identified as a Mustang and a deputy dispatched to Best Buy noticed a white Mustang similar to the description parked in the Bel Air lot nearby.

Sheriff’s personnel were ringing bells and collecting donations for the Salvation Army in front of Bel Air on Highway 49. One of them, Detective Jim Hudson, was alerted and walked over to the empty Mustang and staked it out, waiting for the driver to return.

The driver eventually came back and had apparently changed clothes at Bel Air from the ones worn by the man involved in the Best Buy theft, sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said.

The man was still carrying the clothes. The notebook was also recovered and returned to the nearby Best Buy, Erwin said.

Robert Vernon Giese, 29, of North Highlands was arrested and charged with felony commercial burglary.