After a yearlong investigation, Siskiyou County Sheriff's deputies have identified a pair of suspects in the January 2012 theft of more than a million dollars in historic gold nuggets from the county courthouse.
Agents from the sheriff's office searched parts of the Bay Area Thursday after getting million dollar search warrants for David Johnson, 49 of El Cerrito and Scott Bailey, 51 of El Sobrante.
The pair are the prime suspects in the January 31, 2012 theft of $1,257,500 worth of historic gold nuggets from the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka.
Detectives have been working the case trying to identify the pair of thieves who were caught by surveillance cameras during the heist.
Investigators say they believe Johnson and Bailey used the stolen gold to purchase high value items and are hopeful that evidence gathered during Thursday's search in the Bay Area will lead to arrests.
In addition to the activity in the Bay Area, investigators also served search warrants at locations in Redding and the city of Shasta Lake.
In a release issued Friday morning, Sheriff Jon Lopey said, "“This has been a long an arduous investigation involving the crimes perpetrated by the suspects responsible for burglarizing our court house and stealing an historic gold display and other antiquities which cannot be replaced. These thieves stole a part of Siskiyou County history, which represents the hard work, sacrifice, traditions, and pioneer spirit which characterizes the personality of Siskiyou County and its citizens – past and present. Although we still have a lot of work to do in this case, the issuance of the felony arrest warrants should result in the arrest of the suspects. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Board of Supervisors and the County Administrator, whose authorization to elevate the reward to $50,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects contributed to some investigative leads in the case. The SCSO Detective Unit did an excellent job investigating this case and never gave up following up on the numerous leads which arose from this investigation. SCSO also received assistance and support from the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office of Investigations, California Department of Justice Crime Lab (Redding), Siskiyou County Wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force, Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies in the Bay Area.”
Anyone with information about Johnson and Bailey's whereabouts is asked to call Detective Yves Pike at (530) 842-8354.