Deputies track down, arrest Shasta Lake burglar

CITY OF SHASTA LAKE — A Shasta County man with multiple prior arrests for possession of stolen property and stolen vehicles was arrested again during a residential burglary investigation Thursday morning, Nov. 7.

The man was arrested after deputies investigating the burglary used footprints and home surveillance footage to track him several blocks to a wooded area where he was found hiding. During their investigation, deputies located and recovered a rifle, ammunition, and other belongings stolen from the victims during the burglary.


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Shasta County sheriff’s deputies assigned to City of Shasta Lake division responded to a private residence on the 4000 block of Trinity St. about 8:30 a.m., after receiving reports of a burglary which just occurred, Shasta County Sheriff’s Sgt. Scoma reported after the incident and arrest.

During their investigation, deputies learned a man, later identified as 19-year-old Tajari Gabriel Phillips, was confronted by one of the homeowners after the woman found him ransacking her home’s garage.

“After being confronted, the suspect fled through the back yard of the residence,” explained Scoma.

Shasta County sheriff’s deputies arrested 19-year-old Tajari Gabriel Phillips after they say he entered the garage of an occupied home and stole a rifle with case and ammunition. SCSO photo

At the time of the initial investigation the “distraught” homeowner was able to provide a description of the man she had confronted in her garage, but she was unable to determine if he had stolen anything before fleeing the location.

A short time later the woman’s husband returned to the residence and confirmed a rifle and ammunition were taken from the garage.

Armed with the suspect’s description, deputies began searching the area where the suspect fled and soon located a backpack with various types of ammunition. The ammunition and other items inside the backpack were later determined to have come from the garage.

“Deputies were able to follow fresh tracks through multiple back yards of adjoining residences and discovered a residence with a surveillance system which could have captured video footage of the suspect,” the Sgt. explained.

After reviewing the surveillance video, deputies found footage that showed Phillips walking through the area near Butterfly Lane while carrying a rifle case. The victim later positively identified the rifle case as having been stolen from his garage.

The surveillance footage showed the male subject walking into a wooded area, which was approximately three to four blocks away from where the burglary occurred, according to the Sgt.

Deputies conducted a search of the wooded area and located Phillips hiding under a blanket near a tree. Deputies who detained the alleged suspect found he was in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. 

Although they were not initially able to locate the rifle and case stolen during the burglary, deputies contacted multiple witnesses in the area who helped locate the rifle hidden under a brush pile and covered with leaves.

Based on their investigation deputies arrested Phillips and he was later booked into Shasta County Jail in Redding on suspicion of residential burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He remains in custody pending arraignment, according to Scoma.

Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact Shasta County Sheriff’s City of Shasta Lake division at (530) 245-6096. Callers can refer to incident file number 19S041186 and can remain anonymous.

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Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.


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