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San Joaquin jail honor farm too easy for escapees?

STOCKTON, CA - When two more men escaped from the San Joaquin County honor farm this week, they were the 20th and 21st inmates to leave that jail facility since January.

Thomas Marcos Tito and Nikko Victor Garcia men were serving time for property crimes, and both left Wednesday morning, one at 2 a.m. and the other three hours later.

"Walkaways from the honor farm isn't new. Always had them," said sheriff's spokesman Deputy Les Garcia.

This week's escapes follow another escape nearly two weeks ago in which an inmate in a stolen car was shot and killed while allegedly trying to hit police.

There were no immediate plans to strengthen security at the honor farm, but Garcia said the sheriff has secured $80 million  to build a new, more secure facility.  The problem is, San Joaquin County can't afford the $45 million necessary to operate and staff that jail each year.

Thieves fail in El Dorado Hills ATM heist attempt

EL DORADO HILLS, CA - A group of would-be thieves were unsuccessful in their efforts to tow an ATM out of an El Dorado Hills CVS store Thursday morning.

According to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Office release, deputies responded to an activated security alarm around 2:18 a.m.

Upon arrival at 2:21 a.m., the deputies discovered the store's front doors on the ground, surrounded by broken glass.

No suspects were found at the location, according to the report.

Deputies examined the store's surveillance video and discovered at least three individuals had arrived at the store's parking lot in a white Ford F-350 truck and a red pickup truck. The individuals then backed the Ford through the front glass doors and unsuccessfully attempted to tow the ATM machine out of the store, according to the report.

Placerville man charged in 1986 Bay Area kidnapping, murder

REDWOOD CITY (BCN) - A Placerville man recently identified as a suspect in a 26-year-old rape and murder through DNA analysis was arraigned Friday in San  Mateo County Superior Court.

John William Kelley was charged Friday afternoon with first-degree murder, with additional special circumstances of the murder taking place during commission of rape and kidnapping, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

A lawyer for Kelley was appointed by the court and he was ordered to return to court next week to enter a plea.

Kelley, 49, was arrested Wednesday in connection with the 1986 kidnapping, rape and murder of Annette Thur after DNA analysis of evidence from the case identified him as a suspect.

Thur's body was found down an embankment off of Skyline Boulevard, north of Alpine Road, in unincorporated San Mateo County on Dec. 9, 1986, according to the Sheriff's Office.

3 accused of defrauding Thunder Valley owners of $18M

SACRAMENTO, CA - Two local men and a developer from San Diego were indicted for allegedly defrauding the United Auburn Indian Community of more than $18 million in connection with the construction of four buildings in Auburn for the tribe.

The United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC) owns the Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln.

Greg Scott Baker, 45, of Newcastle; Darrell Patrick Hinz, 47, of Cameron Park; and Bart Wayne Volen of San Diego and Hawaii, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as money laundering, announced the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California.

According to court documents, between October 2006 and December 2007, Volen, the building developer, submitted more than 160 false and/or inflated cost invoices to UAIC for his work.

Accused mail thief pleads guilty

SACRAMENTO, CA - A North Highlands man pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing mail in El Dorado County on two occasions, the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California, reports.

Steven Joseph Rohner, 55, faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a $500,000 fine, plus restitution when he is sentenced Oct. 30, said U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lauren Horwood.

Court documents alleged Rohner stole more than $14,278 in the thefts. He was charged with breaking into a mail truck and taking bags of mail destined for El  Dorado, Diamond Springs and Shingle Springs post offices on Dec. 3, 2011. Three months later, on March 26, Rohner was accused of burglarizing a U.S. Post Office in Rescue and stealing mail from mail bags.