Bambauer Towing burglars caught in the act

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

The heat was on at Bambauer Towing long before the sun began to rise.

At about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1, Eagle Security reported a commercial burglar alarm activation at Bambauer Towing, 4295 Highway 99, Orland.

Local law enforcement, including members of the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol, and the Orland Police Department, quickly responded to the scene.

Bambauer brothers Scott and Lewie arrived at the business at about the same time as law enforcement.

It was soon discovered that the establishment’s office had been broken into through its back door, and that several vehicles on the premises had their doors open and had been searched by someone.

Paul Douglas Blake

Deputies found Paul Douglas Blake of Red Bluff hiding underneath a garbage truck. He was arrested on charges alleging burglary, possession of burglary tools, and tampering with a vehicle.

Scott Bambauer later told the Glenn County Observer that he wasn’t sure what the burglars were after. Maybe catalytic converters, he speculated.

At any rate, piles of stolen items were found scattered around the Bambauer property, presumably to be picked up by the thieves before they left.

Two or three hours later, the Bambauers were watching their security videos when they noticed in a video one of the burglars walking across the property.

At first, they thought the video was from earlier in the morning, then they realized the sun was up in the video. The security camera had recorded the man less than a minute earlier!

By this time, most law enforcement officers were gone, but Deputy Ian Ayres was still on scene when the Bambauers notified the sheriff’s office that the trespasser had just left the property in an area where the fence had been cut open a couple of months earlier during a previous burglary.

Deputy Ayres and the Bambauer brothers went looking for the man. Deputy Ayres found him hiding nearby in a ditch and he was taken into custody.

Christopher Robert Thompson

He was identified as Christopher Robert Thompson of Red Bluff. He was booked into the Glenn County Jail on charges alleging burglary, possession of burglary tools, and possession of methamphetamine.

At about 9:11 a.m., Orland police officers were dispatched to Cortina Drive, south of South Street, for a report of two suspicious people near a vehicle related to the Bambauer burglary.

Officers contacted Cassandra Severns, 38, and Michelle Eaton, 41, both of Gerber. Severns and Eaton were interviewed and released.

The Glenn County Observer stopped by Bambauer Towing at about 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Scott Bambauer and several employees were still working to repair the damage caused by the burglars, reinforce security at the business, and discover if any other crimes had been committed.

Scott Bambauer is of the opinion that our Glenn County legal system should not have a very difficult time putting these two men away.

Paul Blake does not seem to have a history in the Glenn County court system. On the other hand, Christopher Thompson has visited the county’s halls of justice at least once previously.

His charges included second degree commercial burglary and grand theft. The burglary charge was dismissed but he was convicted of grand theft.

His sentence included three years probation, drug court, and fines.

In 2018, he was found guilty of violating his probation.

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