Another arrest made in Yreka gold theft case

A second suspect wanted by authorities for the theft of more than a million dollars in gold from the Siskiyou County Courthouse in Yreka was arrested Thursday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department reported.

Scott Wayne Bailey, 51, of El Sobrante, Calif., was arrested by police in San Pablo, Calif., on an outstanding warrant issued in the case this spring. The other suspect in the case, David Dean Johnson, remains jailed in Siskiyou County after turning himself in on April 1, officials said.

The two men were wanted in connection to a January 2012 theft of $1.26 million worth of gold, jewelry and artifacts stolen from a display case in the courthouse lobby in the county seat of Yreka. Johnson and Bailey were identified as key suspects this spring after "a long and exhaustive investigation," the sheriff's department said in a news release.

Soon Bailey will be transferred to the Siskiyou County Jail on charges of burglary, theft and conspiracy, officials said.

Johnson was set to go to trial in June, but had asked to postpone it. Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus said in the news release that he would seek to prosecute the two men jointly to save money.

Investigators allege that Johnson and Bailey broke into the courthouse in Yreka in the early morning hours of Jan. 31, 2012. Video surveillance shows two men breaking in through the rear of the building, possibly through a window, before swiping $1.26 million in historic gold nuggets, jewelry and other artifacts. The alarm did not sound, but police don't think it was disabled intentionally.

The investigation revealed that at least some of the gold might have been used to buy various high-value items, but detectives are still hunting for details.

"We are still seeking to obtain information about the status of the missing gold and artifacts as well," Sheriff Jon Lopey said in the news release.

— Mandy Valencia

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