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Sheriffs nab OxyContin-addicted thieves

Losses estimated at $30,000-$40,000
By: Lien Hoang, The Press Tribune
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Detectives arrested three men from Roseville and Auburn who they say burglarized area stores for four months to feed OxyContin addictions, according to Placer County Sheriffs. “All of them got up in the morning and said, ‘How can I get my OxyContin?’” Detective Jim Hudson said Thursday, estimating stolen TVs, DVDs, videos and videogames at $30,000 to $40,000. Since July, the alleged theft ring has hit at least 15 Wal-Marts and Kmarts across Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado and Yuba Counties, including in Auburn and Roseville. Detectives based their work on video surveillance from the stores. It was the Auburn Kmart that first contacted sheriffs, having been burglarized three times. The men are William Beaman, 28, of Roseville, Kyle Cruzan, 19, of Roseville, and Daniel Hayes, 19, of Auburn. All of them live with parents and are unemployed, Hudson said. Hayes was arrested Monday, Beaman Tuesday, and Cruzan Wednesday. “It took a while to track them down,” Hudson said. Beaman had previously been arrested for shoplifting at the Lead Hill Wal-Mart in Roseville. Hudson said the real problem in the case is the prevalence of OxyContin addiction among young adults, higher than methamphetamine. “Juveniles think it’s OK to start trying it because it’s a pharmaceutical, prescription-type drug,” the detective said, adding he has seen a zero success rate among would-be quitters. Hayes seemed to be the ringleader, though two of the three usually target each store at a time, Hudson said. One would enter a business during store hours while another waited by a fire exit in a getaway car. The man inside would grab a 32-inch TV or stuff merchandise in a bag - sometimes 30 to 40 video games - and run to the car, setting off emergency alarms. They’d exchange the TVs with an OxyContin dealer, sell the videos and DVDs to Dimple Records and sell the games to GameStop. Lien Hoang can be reached at lienh@goldcountrymedia.com.