Two local men arrested for gunpoint robbery in Auburn parking lot

Don’t pull over in unlit, secluded areas at night, sergeant says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Two local men are still in custody after allegedly robbing a Cool resident at gunpoint while he sat in his vehicle in the parking lot of a local park. According to Sgt. Victor Pecoraro, with the Auburn Police Department, at about 10:50 p.m. Monday the victim called the department to report the robbery, which took place in the parking lot of Ashford Park. According to Sgt. Michael Garlock, the alleged robbers were Applegate resident Lucas George Lambeth, 21, and Tyler Adam Burzinski, 19, of Auburn. The two fled the scene in a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup after the robbery, Garlock said. The robbery victim had pulled over into the parking lot of Ashford Park on Auburn Ravine Road to use the restroom, and Lambeth and Burzinski allegedly robbed him at gunpoint while he was sitting in his vehicle, Garlock said. Police do not believe the victim knew either of the alleged robbers, Garlock said. “At this point in our investigation it appears that obviously the victim did not know any of these individuals,” he said. “It appeared to be a total stranger type robbery, random if you will.” Garlock said after the incident Lambeth dropped Burzinski off at a friend’s house near the park. After that, a Placer County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the truck and followed it. Other deputies and Auburn police officers arrived at Bowman Road and Channel Hill Road to assist the deputy with a traffic stop, Garlock said. When the stop was initiated, officers arrested Lambeth without incident, according to Pecararo. The stolen items and a loaded semi-automatic handgun were found in Lambeth’s vehicle, Pecararo said. Garlock declined to list the items that were stolen, except to say they were some of the victim’s “personal belongings.” Originally it was thought an 18-year-old girl was the second suspect in the robbery, but investigators discovered Tuesday morning that the female in question had been dropped off before the crime was committed. “At one point the suspect was with a female, but as we understand it now he dropped the female off prior to committing the crime, and then he picked up a male,” Garlock said. Garlock said Auburn police arrested Burzinski around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday. “Once we learned his identity, our school resource officer was aware of this individual, or knew of him, and located him at the skate park here in Auburn,” Garlock said. Auburn resident Hollie Widick, who was spending time with her dog in Ashley Dog Park in Ashford Park Tuesday, said the park has always been a safe place, and she was surprised to hear about the robbery. Loomis resident Debora Smith said she comes to the park at least once or twice a week to let her dog and daughter play, and the park has been a safe place. Auburn resident Dona Hagedorn said she had a mixed reaction to the crime. “I am surprised, but on the other hand I’m not, because in this economy crime is on the rise,” Hagedorn said. “I’m saddened certainly.” Auburn resident Hanna Stadler said she visits the park twice a day and had heard about the robbery on the news. “It definitely concerned me a great deal,” Stadler said. “I guess the message is don’t come here late at night. I come sometimes very early in the morning, and I usually have my cell phone in my hand. You just never know.” Colfax resident Jordyn Mitchener said she likes the park and likes to let her daughter play there. “These kinds of things happen everywhere,” Mitchener said. “If something like that happens every so often, it’s expected. I hate saying that, but it is. I would just say this is a really nice neighborhood, and just because one incident happens in this park, don’t not come to this park.” According to jail records, Lambeth was charged with robbery, a felony, and vandalism of less than $400, a misdemeanor. As of Tuesday evening he was still in custody in Placer County Jail with a $100,000 bail. Burzinski was charged with felony robbery and was in custody in Placer County Jail with a $60,000 bail as of Tuesday evening, according to jail records. Garlock said the police department has advice for people to avoid a similar situation. “I hate to state the obvious sometimes, but the best bet to avoid situations like this is to pull over in lighted areas – businesses that are open for business, such as a gas station, a restaurant that is open for 24 hours,” he said. “Dark secluded areas obviously are areas where bad guys are going to look to take advantage of people.” Reach Bridget Jones at