Two arrested for Midtown burglaries

Published: Sep. 21, 2018 at 2:02 AM PDT
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Reno Police have arrested two people in connection with a series of burglaries of Midtown businesses.

Detectives identified 32-year-old James Alvarez II as a suspect after finding stolen property from one of the burglaries at a pawn shop. The night of October 4, 2018, detectives tracked Alvarez to the area of South Virginia Street and Regency Way, where they say he rammed unmarked police cars as he tried to get away in a stolen SUV. He crashed and was taken into custody. He is charged with burglary, assault with a deadly weapon and an unrelated domestic battery.

A short time later, in the same area, police arrested Alvarez's suspected burglary accomplice, 23-year-old Pablo Cezar Rivera.

Both men are charged for their involvement in multiple burglaries, including but not limited to the Antique Mall, Bangkok Cuisine and Blue Salon.


For Midtown business owners, it has been a long month, first having to deal with road construction and now dealing with burglaries.

Jennifer Edge has owned Atelier Beauty Bar in Midtown for more than four years and she says she was shocked to see what took place earlier this week.

"It feels violating. It's feels weird that someone was in your space," said Edge.

Her shop was broken into Monday morning and the burglar took cash from the cash register.

"We had it and another location popped up and said they had a break-in," said Edge.

Sippee’s was also broken into as the front door was damaged sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The Melting Pot was also targeted around the same time, but only sustained minor damage to the front door.

"Luckily for us, our window didn't shatter or we would have probably suffered the faith of the other businesses where the window did shatter," said Eric Baron, owner of Melting Pot.

The shop that sustained the most damage was Virginia Street Antique Mall. Owner Lisa Youell Jeanney says the thieves broke her store window September 15, 2018 and took nothing. But fast forward to Wednesday morning; the thieves made two trips around 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. Jeanney says surveillance footage shows the thief successfully turned off the alarm, resulting in the alarm company never calling Jeanney.

"Our biggest concern right now is who is letting people have access to our keypad and not calling us when our alarm goes off," said Jeanney.

She says thieves took antique guns, an air rifle and three miniature pistols. It is the not known yet how much those items are worth.

The Midtown business owners say they don't put all the blame on the construction project because other businesses like the Bangkok Cuisine were burglarized before construction ever began. But since the project started, Midtown has become a ghost town in the early morning hours.

"We don't have any police presence like we would like," said Jeanney.

"We don't like to have bars on our windows and that's unattractive. We hope we don't have to get to that point," said Edge.

Business owners say it's still safe to come to Midtown since the burglaries took place in the early morning hours and they plan to add more security measures.

KOLO-TV tried to get in touch with the Reno Police Department on multiple occasions regarding these incidents, but no phone calls were returned.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County released a statement regarding the recent burglaries:

The RTC is very concerned to hear that a handful of businesses within the Midtown District were broken into recently. We are committed to the safety and security of Midtown businesses and its residents during construction and will work with our contractor, SNC, and business owners to see how we can help make the corridor safer and more secure during construction. RTC Commissioner and Reno Councilwoman Neoma Jardon is elevating the concerns we have with Reno Police Chief Soto to increase law enforcement presence and surveillance of the Midtown Corridor. Anyone with information regarding the recent robberies is asked to call Reno Police Department or Secret Witness and remain anonymous. The RTC continues to believe in the resilience and the compassion of the northern Nevada community and encourages anyone who sees suspicious or criminal behavior in the Midtown District to report it to law enforcement immediately. If you see something… say something.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Reno Police Department's Burglary Division at 775-334-2144 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900, or you can text a tip to 847411(TIP).