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Sheriff: No evidence to support prowler claims

Cameras, hidden deputies haven’t caught possible suspect
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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The Sheriff’s Department has used hidden cameras and on-site surveillance to try to catch an alleged North Auburn prowler, but to no avail. Auburn resident Rhonda Payne said she has had problems with the prowler for the last 10 years, and several of her neighbors back up her claims. Payne said the man has climbed on her roof, knocked on her windows, watched her family with night-vision goggles, killed her neighbors’ cats and more. Lt. Jeff Ausnow, spokesman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, said the department has taken Payne’s reports seriously and made attempts to catch a suspect. “During the course of our investigation, we have set up surveillance cameras,” Ausnow said. “However, they failed to pick up any activity near her residence.” Ausnow said several detectives have also conducted on-site surveillance near Payne’s property. Payne has told the Sheriff’s Department who she thinks the prowler is, Ausnow said. “Rhonda Payne has provided us with the identify of a possible suspect, however, there is no evidence to support any criminal activity on his part,” he said. Ausnow said the investigation would continue. “We have taken all of her reports seriously, however, have been unable to confirm or obtain any evidence to support the claims,” he said. “We will continue to take her reports seriously and hopefully we can identify a suspect.” The Journal has discovered that the man Payne claims is a suspect was arrested Tuesday on an unrelated charge in Nevada County, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department. The Journal is withholding his name because he has not been charged in the case involving Payne. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com