NPU focuses on Hilltop auto break-ins

Image Courtesy: Redding Police Department

REDDING, Calif. - Redding's Neighborhood Police Unit made multiple arrests in an operation addressing an increase in auto burglaries along Hilltop Drive.

While utilizing undercover officers and unmarked vehicles, Redding NPU officers were patrolling the parking lot of the La Quinta Inn on Hilltop Drive when they identified their first suspect during the operation Tuesday.

Joshua Alexander Ellis, 26, was identified as a homeless heroin addict by police, who say he admitted to checking locked and unlocked vehicles in motel and hotel parking lots, searching for items of value he might sell to support his drug habit. He was arrested for vehicle tampering.

During their investigation, the vehicle Ellis had been tampering with was identified by police as one suspected of being stolen in the state of Washington, as well as having several red light violations in Redding.

This led to RPD's arrest of William James Ashmun, 25, for possession of heroin for sales, possession of methamphetamine and violation of his probation. A female companion who was in the car, Elizabeth Anne Schwerin, 26,of Redding, was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

All of the suspects were placed in custody at the Shasta County Jail.