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Location: Big Lagoon
On 08-17-2011, approximately 7:00 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen who reported her vehicle was broken into on the Mattole Road at Albee Creek Campground between 11:45 am and 1:45 p.m. The victim’s driver side front window was smashed by a rock and numerous items including credit cards were stolen from the victim’s vehicle. The victim immediately canceled all her bank accounts upon learning of the theft. The victim learned from her bank that someone had used one of the stolen cards that same day at 1:00 p.m. at a gas station in Rio Dell, before the card was reported stolen.
The investigating deputy, assisted by the Rio Dell Police Department, contacted the gas station where the credit card was used. The station had video cameras, which the deputy used to assist with identifying the suspect, who the deputy identified as Thomas Aaron Kough Jr., 21 years old of Eureka. The deputy also learned Kough Jr. was on probation with a search clause. The deputy placed a Be-On-The-Lookout bulletin for Thomas Kough Jr. to local law enforcement agencies.
On 08-20-2011, a different deputy sheriff was patrolling Big Lagoon campground when he spotted a vehicle associated with Thomas Kough Jr. parked near a tent. Another deputy joined the deputy and they made contact with the occupant of the tent, a female who identified herself as Shawnee Nikita-Marr Foster, 19 years old, from Eureka. While they were speaking with Foster, Thomas Kough Jr. walked towards the tent. The deputies spotted him and took him into custody. The deputies conducted a probation search on the tent. During the search of the tent the deputies found stolen property from other area burglaries.
Deputies are continuing to investigate other area burglaries these suspects may have been involved in. The suspects admitted to recently traveling the north coast between Brookings, Oregon and Garberville.
Thomas Kough Jr. was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on unlawful use of a credit card, possession of stolen property and violation of probation. He is being held without bail. Shawnee Foster was also booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on one count of possession of stolen property. Her bail is set at $25,000.00.
Anyone with information about this case is requested to contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.