El Dorado loot waiting to be returned to victims

12:57 AM, Dec 28, 2013   |    comments
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PLACERVILLE, Calif. - About half the ill-gotten gain of an area burglary ring is still waiting to be claimed by its owners.

There is everything from jewelry to guns and computers, but detectives are hoping a number of potentially priceless family heirlooms can be returned to their owners.

"I'm sure that an item like that has been passed down from generation to generation," said El Dorado County Sheriff's Det. James Peterson, referring to a silver service set that appears to be several generations old.

"A lot of these items are antiques as well as being monetarily valuable," Peterson said.

Detectives have already had plenty of successes getting property returned, including a pair of antique flint-lock guns that the owner will soon pick up.

"He's pretty excited. Obviously, as well as being valuable, they mean a lot," said Peterson.

Another interesting item is a pair of old military uniforms that could date back to World War II.

"One's an enlisted dress-green uniform with a specialist 5 rank with a First Army patch on it," Peterson said. "The other one appears to be an officer's dress coat. It has a name on the inside of 'A. Kent.'"

There are also medals, including one issued by the State of New York, for service from 1917-1919 in World War I. A pair of GI dog tags is among the stolen goods, with the name, Allan Beattie Robertson, USNR inscribed on it.

The property was allegedly stolen by a burglary ring run by El Dorado County resident Gary Joseph Masse, who was paroled on July 2013 for similar crimes, and arrested again on Dec. 6. The ring was apparently interested in taking more than commonly stolen items like electronics.

"Unfortunately, with this particular group that we've been kind of chasing around, it seems that they're more apt to grab these sorts of things," Peterson said, waving at scores of antique and unusual heirlooms that included dolls, musical instruments and antique guns. "All of these things mean a lot to people."

Detectives believe Masse and his crew may have been responsible for 15 to 20 burglaries in recent months.

If you believe some of the stolen goods may be yours, you can call Detective Peterson at 530-642-4713.


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