Sunday, June 4, 2023

The Hunt for the Redbearded Burglar Continues on the Mendocino County Coast, Says Sheriff Matt Kendall

Surviellance Footage of the Redbearded Burglar captured while he burglarized an Elk home last night [Pictures provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

According to Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall, since an unidentified burglar fired on a deputy the night of May 11, 2021 after being caught skulking about a coastal residence, MCSO personnel have been patrolling the area, investigating the suspect, and getting a sense of the serial burglar’s modus operandi.  

Sheriff Kendall told us residents of Elk on the Mendocino County coast should expect to see more MCSO personnel due to extra patrols being conducted as deputies search for the assailant. 

Unable to go into details regarding investigatory techniques to assure the integrity of the investigation, Sheriff Kendall said he was on the location of the investigation today and assured us investigators are working diligently to locate the burglar suspected of burglarizing several homes near Cameron Road in Elk and in Ukiah’s western hills.

An image of the Redbearded Burglar taken in February 2021[Picture provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and enhanced to show detail]

Sheriff Kendall revealed investigators have determined that the Redbearded Burglar is purposefully avoiding people when committing his crimes. He said, “We don’t think he is going to break in while you are there.” The suspect is “avoiding confrontation with homeowners” and strikes “when no one is around,” Sheriff Kendall explained.

Sheriff Kendall differentiated between a burglar, a cat burglar, and a robber. He said burglars typically aim to commit their thefts while homes are empty avoiding residents, cat burglars also thieve from homes but willingly do so while occupants are home, and robbers will purposefully make their presence known to their victims and threaten violence to demand compliance. The Redbearded Burglar pilfering rural homes in Mendocino County is a traditional burglar, as per Sheriff Kendall.

After the shootout with police, many community members noted an eerie similarity between the Redbearded Burglar and Aaron Bassler, a 35-year-old man who burglarized Mendocino coast homes in 2011 killing two people before he was finally gunned down by SWAT team members. Sheriff Kendall reflected on the Bassler case simply stating, “We learned a lot of lessons from Bassler that we will not repeat. That’s why we’re working this slowly and methodically.”

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Surviellance Footage of the Redbearded Burglar captured while he burglarized an Elk home last night [Pictures provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

The most recent encounter with the Redbearded Burglar led to deputies being fired upon after they found him burglarizing an Elk home at approximately 9:30 p.m. on May 11. Since then, Mendocino County deputies have been searching for the assailant. 

A press release from MCSO states the suspect in Tuesday night’s officer-involved shooting is also the suspect in a series of several February 2021 vandalism and burglaries of cabins in the Pine Ridge Road and Low Gap Road area in the hills west of Ukiah

A press release issued by the MCSO describes the Redbearded Burglar as, “white, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing approximately 165-180 pounds and having a red beard.”

If any member of the public has information of the whereabouts or identity of this individual, they are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 911 (emergency) or 707-463-4086 (non-emergency).

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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