Suspect pleads guilty in $1.2 million gold heist from Siskiyou County Courthouse

YREKA, Calif. - A suspect has pleaded guilty in connection with the theft of more than $1 million in gold from the Siskiyou County Courthouse.

Scott Bailey, 51 of El Sobrante, was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Thursday.  But instead, he pleaded guilty to 2nd degree burglary with an enhancement for a loss exceeding $200,000.  The maximum sentence is 5 years.

Bailey was charged with the January 2012 burglary at the Siskiyou County Courthouse.  Investigators said Bailey and another East Bay man, 49-year-old David Johnson of El Cerrito, broke into the courthouse and got away with gold and gold nuggets from an historic display case.

The crime went unsolved for several months. Through the investigation the two suspects were identified.  

In April, David Johnson turned himself in at the Siskiyou County Courthouse.

On August 1, Scott Bailey was arrested in San Pablo and transported to Siskiyou County Jail where he was held on $1 million bail.  

This week prosecutors obtained a crime lab report on evidence in the case.  According to District Attorney Kirk Andrus, the report revealed Bailey's DNA matched DNA found on socks found near the burglary scene.  Investigators believe Bailey used the socks to cover his hands during the burglary.

Bailey appeared in court Thursday and entered the guilty plea.  The district attorney said in a written statement "no plea bargain was in the offing.  The only offer was to plead 'open,' meaning with no promises.  It is our intention to seek the maximum sentence for those involved in this brazen offense."

Bailey's sentencing is set for September 12.

There remains a $50,000 reward for identification, arrest and conviction of any individuals involved in this case.  The investigation remains ongoing; the stolen gold has not been recovered. Anyone with information is asked to call the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit at (530) 842-8354 or dispatch at (530) 841-2900.

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