By SCOTT PESZNECKER
With the arrest of a San Andreas man, investigators believe they have solved the three-year mystery of the disappearing videotapes.
A surveillance camera at Showtime Video in Valley Springs filmed the man allegedly stealing more than 30 of the store's tapes.
Donald Tarrance, 49, was booked into the Calaveras County Jail on Thursday on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and parole violation.
Calaveras County Sheriff's Department Detective Chris Villegas said deputies found more than 30 video tapes at Tarrance's San Andreas home everything from R-rated action movies to children's tapes, Villegas said.
All the tapes were missing from Showtime Video.
"Apparently he was watching a lot of movies," Villegas said, adding that Tarrance never worked at the Valley Springs store.
Villegas said some of the tapes in Tarrance's home have been missing since 2001.
Villegas said the tapes, valued between $20 and $90 each, will eventually be returned to the video store. They are now at the Sheriff's Department as evidence in the investigation.
Video cameras were installed at the store in hopes of nabbing whoever was stealing tapes. Because the tapes all disappeared in "the same fashion all the time," Villegas said, store workers expected it was the work of one person.
Tarrance did something to the tapes to pass them undetected through the scanners at the store entrance, and did it during store hours, Villegas said.
Villegas wouldn't say how Tarrance did it.
"I don't want to release that because I don't want it to start happening everywhere," the investigator said.
Tarrance remained held at the Calaveras County Jail this morning in lieu of $60,000 bail.
Contact Scott Pesznecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.