June 8, 2011 at about 12:48 PM, a citizen from El Dorado Hills called to report a suspicious vehicle. Two patrol deputies responded and found the suspicious vehicle, a black VW Beetle with Nevada license plates. One of the deputies contacted a male at the vehicle. The other deputy contacted a female who was walking, carrying a pillow case full of items.
The deputies discovered that a burglary to a residence had just occurred in the area, the suspects entering by smashing a window at the back of the house. The patrol deputies discovered property in the pillow case and property inside the car had been stolen during the burglary. There were additional items in the car that are suspected to have been stolen. These items include a pillow case containing jewelry, laptop computers and purses.
Two detectives heard the call dispatched over the radio and they realized the suspect vehicle matched the description of a vehicle used in a burglary that occurred May 11, 2011 on Rolph Way, El Dorado Hills. During that burglary, suspect(s) knocked on the door of the residence.
A female resident was home working on her computer, was not expecting anyone, so she did not answer the door. A male suspect entered the house, walked in on the female, and then ran from the residence.
The detectives conducted interviews with the male and female on this current burglary. They also performed a probation search on the suspects residence on Creekside Drive in Folsom. The detectives found items they suspect to have been stolen, including credit cards, identification, purses and passports. The detectives found a laptop computer that had been stolen during a residential burglary about two months ago in El Dorado Hills. They also found a television found to have been stolen during a burglary about one month ago in El Dorado Hills. They found credit cards that had been stolen in a burglary in Granite Bay. To this point, the detectives have linked the couple to eight burglaries in El Dorado County, Folsom and Granite Bay. The investigation is continuing.
The suspects have been identified as Matthew Morgan 27 years and Erin Epperson 31 years, both from Folsom. Both were arrested and booked into county jail for burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of hypodermic needles.
Once again, this case was broke wide open by a resident in their neighborhood keeping a watchful eye out for activities occurring around them which just seem out of place. In fact, the individual responsible was the leader of a local Neighborhood Watch Program. She stated that as the suspect’s black vehicle passed her, it spurred her remembrance of an earlier email which was circulated after a burglary in the area. If it weren’t for the networking that Neighborhood Watch Program allows these suspects may have gotten away.
The Sheriff’s Office works with its STAR program to offer assistance in setting up or revitalizing Neighborhood Watch Programs throughout the county. If you are interested in obtaining information on how to start a Neighborhood Watch Program, please contact the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.