Suspect Sought In Elder Abuse of 92 Year Old WWII Veteran

South Lake Tahoe, CA…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.

The investigation is continuing and the police department is seeking an arrest warrant for James Michael Valero for burglary (felony), Preventing/dissuading a victim from reporting a crime (felony), elder abuse (felony) and trespassing (misdemeanor). Valero is believed to be transient. Valero’s whereabouts are currently unknown. A maroon Isuzu Rodeo, bearing California license plates of 6TAK230, is registered to Valero. This vehicle remained parked in the apartment complex parking lot after the suspect fled. Valero is described as:

27 years old, white male, 6’-1”, 160 lbs,

Long brown hair, brown eyes, and shaggy beard

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at (530) 542-6100 or Secret Witness at (530) 541-6800. Officer Chris Webber is assigned this investigation.