South Lake Tahoe, CA….Just three hours after the City of South Lake Tahoe Police Department asked for the community’s help in finding a 27-year-old man suspected of felony crimes including elder abuse, the suspect, James Michael Valero was arrested and is in custody.
After receiving a phone tip from a citizen, officers found the suspect walking in the area of Fourth and South Streets, and an arrest was made.
On January 21, 2014, at about 11:11pm, South Lake Tahoe Police Officers responded to an apartment complex in the 1100 block of 3rd Street regarding a burglary in progress. When they arrived, about two minutes later, they found the victim, a 92 year old manager of the apartment complex; a World War II Marine Corp Veteran who walks with the assistance of a cane.
The victim is the apartment complex manager. He had discovered a man, later identified as James Michael Valero, trespassing in the laundry room of the apartment complex. The manager has had dealt with Valero trespassing on the premises in the past. The manager confronted Valero and told him that he was going to call the police. Valero responded by following the victim back to the manager’s apartment. The victim reported that when Valero saw him calling the police, Valero forced his way into the manager’s apartment. The victim stated Valero shoved him twice, which hurt the elderly victim’s disabled knee. The victim reported that Valero then forcibly pulled the phone away to prevent him from calling the police. Valero then fled from the area on foot. The victim was able to retrieve his telephone and called for help.
James Michael Valero is in custody for suspicion of burglary (felony), preventing/dissuading a victim from reporting a crime (felony), elder abuse (felony), and trespassing (misdemeanor). Valero is believed to be transient.