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Moraga police said they arrested Hector Salazar, 21, after a search of his lunch box turned up jewelry from a house he was painting on July 11.

MORAGA -- A San Pablo man has been charged with three separate felonies after police say they found jewelry from a home he was painting inside his lunchbox.

Hector Mauricio Salazar, 21, was charged Monday by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office with grand theft, possession of stolen property and financial elder abuse. He was arrested last Thursday after Moraga police found him near Larch Avenue near Wandel Drive around 3:10 p.m., Chief Robert Priebe said.

Police arrived after a resident reported Salazar was acting suspiciously, Priebe said. Salazar told officers he had been painting at a nearby residence and agreed to be searched, Priebe said. When officers searched his lunchbox, they saw the jewelry, Priebe said.

Police next talked to the homeowner, an elderly woman, where Salazar said he was painting, and she recognized the jewelry as being missing from the master bedroom, Priebe said.

Salazar was taken to County Jail in Martinez and was being held in lieu of $170,000 bail.

Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.



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