Red Hawk Casino Arrest May Lead to Answers in Several Area Crimes

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PLACERVILLE --

A bright red Honda Civic might stand out wherever it's parked, but one was catching eyes in the lot at Red Hawk Casino for reasons that had nothing to do with its styling.

"One of the windows was broken out, which prompted Red Hawk security to give us a call," said Officer Quinn Cuthbertson with the CHP office in Placerville.

Investigators with the California Highway Patrol say the call from that led them to look through that broken window -- giving them a window into a regional crime spree that was several days old.

"The vehicle was reported stolen on January 12," said Cuthbertson.

That Civic disappeared from an Elk Grove car dealership when a thief flashing an international license drove off with it after a test drive.

It was somehow outfitted with a license plate ripped off in the city of Folsom before it was pulled into a space at Red Hawk in Placerville.

Thanks to surveillance, officers say they were able to track down the alleged driver on the casino floor, and they found the key to the stolen car in his pocket.

According to investigators, that driver, David Wayne Ferris, was gambling with the law in more ways than one -- officers recovered stolen credit cards, a laptop and other electronics from inside the Honda involved in the heist.

Officers say those items, plus the license plate and car, add up to a total of five thefts and strong arm robberies now under investigation in Rancho Cordova, Folsom, Elk Grove and Sacramento.

The 61-year-old from Sacramento, accused of illegally getting behind the wheel of this car has been in trouble with the law before -- just getting out of jail after serving 150 days on pleas for possession of stolen property and identity theft.

Ferris has been charged with grand theft, auto theft, identity theft, robbery and receiving stolen property.

He's being held in the El Dorado County Jail in lieu of $1.2 million bail.