sheriff's car

On Oct. 8, Jose Maria Vallijo, 41, of Sacramento, was arrested in the 10600 block Whiskey Slide Road in Mountain Ranch and booked on felony weapons charges while trespassing and stealing items from an unimproved property.

Around 8:45 p.m., the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call from the property owner regarding trespassing and theft.

“The property owner told dispatchers he was on his way to a rural portion of Mountain Ranch with two of his friends for a hunting trip when a security camera alerted him that a suspect was in the process of taking items from the unimproved property,” a press release from the Sheriff’s Office reads. “Dispatchers advised the property owner that deputies were responding to investigate and to wait for their arrival. The property owner advised dispatch he was already driving to the property and subsequently arrived prior to the deputies.”

When the property owner and his friends arrived, he found that a fence had been cut and there were fresh tire tracks on the property. While the property owner was examining the damage, the suspect returned to the area in an attempt to flee. The property owner confronted the suspect and stayed with him until deputies arrived at the scene.

Deputies discovered that Vallijo was “in possession of a 9mm handgun, .22 caliber rifle, illegally modified shotgun (sawed-off shotgun with the barrel and stock shortened), and multiple rounds of ammunition,” the press release reads. “Vallijo also had stolen items from the property. A records check revealed suspect Vallijo was on felony post-release community supervision from Sacramento County. When asked, suspect Vallijo had no explanation for why he was in the area and refused to answer additional questions.”

Vallijo was placed under arrest, transported to the Calaveras County Jail, and booked for several felony offenses, including possession of a firearm as a prohibited person, possession of ammunition as a prohibited person, possession of a short barrel/modified shotgun and violation of probation. He was also booked on misdemeanor charges of having a concealed weapon in a vehicle and petty theft. Vallijo is being held with a $95,000 bail.

“The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office regularly coordinates with the public to build strong relationships through positive interactions and sharing of information with the specific purpose of creating partnerships with citizens,” the press release reads. “While the information obtained by the property owner was vital for the apprehension of the suspect, we would like to caution persons from placing themselves in dangerous situations. The men and women of the Sheriff’s Office are well trained and well equipped to act on your behalf to keep you safe.”



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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