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Media Releases are available online for 30 days. If you would like a copy of a Media Release older than 30 days, please contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Detective’s Persistence Results in Arrest of Rimrock Suspects for Burglary and Fraud from a Senior Citizen

Posted on Dec 11, 2014

Booking photos may be seen in the attachment --

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Lesson – This media release highlights a lesson for seniors that you should not let anyone in your home to solicit anything without some background knowledge regarding the individuals. Even then, it might be a risk. Always consider having a family member, friend, or neighbor present in such instances. Never let “solicitors” wander out of your sight. As is typical with situations like this, the suspects will employ distraction techniques to allow the theft of valuables from the home without the resident seeing the illicit activity. Many times, offering a “home repair service” is the ruse that gets rip-off artists access throughout the house and the valuables inside. If you doubt the validity of anyone at your door, ask them to leave. If they refuse or continue to pressure the solicitation, call law enforcement.  

On December 9, 2014, YCSO detectives arrested 29-year-old Steven Elms and 27-year-old Juan Fuentes for numerous charges including Burglary, Credit Card Theft, Identity Theft, 9 counts of Credit Card Fraud and 3 counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property. Both remain in-custody – Fuentes on a $21,500 bond and Elms on a $20,000 bond.

In the last few days, a YCSO detective initiated an investigation into use of a stolen credit card taken during a theft from a Rimrock home. During follow-up contact with the 74-year-old victim, the detective learned that not only was her credit card and some cash stolen, but she discovered jewelry missing after filing the original report. With assistance from the reporting patrol deputy, the detective contacted a local merchant where the stolen credit card had been used and reviewed surveillance video of a transaction showing 2 male suspects. When the victim was show still photos of the suspects, she recognized them based on contact a few days prior. Both suspects had been in her home soliciting a new business called “Clean to Profection.” She quickly identified Fuentes whom she also knew from prior contacts and recalled the second suspect had the first name “Steve.”

The detective went to a Flagstaff area WalMart where the stolen credit card was used on the evening of December 6th. During a review of security video, both suspects were seen entering the store with Elms purchasing a tablet computer on the victim’s credit card. About 20 minutes later, the suspects returned to WalMart and Fuentes filled a shopping cart with all kinds of camping supplies charged on the victim’s card. While in Flagstaff the detective traced some of the victim’s jewelry to a local business and confirmed that Fuentes had pawned those items. This property was recovered. The detective also confirmed use of the stolen credit card at a gas station in Munds Park. At that location, the suspects were seen on surveillance video in silver 1985 Chrysler New Yorker registered to Elms.

Further investigation revealed additional stolen property was pawned in Prescott and Cottonwood and those items were also recovered.

On December 9th, the detective was notified that the suspects were inside a Cottonwood area pawn shop. Both were eventually detained by YCOS deputies for the detective. During consent search of Elms’ Chrysler vehicle additional stolen property was recovered including stolen mail connected to multiple locations in the area. Both Elms and Fuentes were arrested and charged as indicated and have since admitted to the activity as described. The suspects even indicated they entered the victim’s home several times while she was away.

Preliminary loss estimated regarding the victim in Rimrock is nearly $2000.

Detectives are looking into the involvement of these suspects in additional crimes. If anyone has information regarding Elms and Fuentes related to this case or other thefts, please contact Detective Swaim at 928-567-7710. Refer to case number 14-043534.

The investigation into mail theft has been turned over to the US Post Office, Postal Inspection Service.

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

YCSO VIP and Others Update Playground for the benefit of Children at the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center

Posted on Dec 10, 2014

(photos of the playground may be seen in the attachment)

The Yavapai Family Advocacy Center (YFAC) in Prescott Valley is dedicated to the support and counseling of sexual abuse victims with a focus on children. It is also the location where law enforcement can interview these victims in a safe and caring environment.

Anne Gordon-Lorentzen, a Volunteer in Protection (VIP) in YCSO’s Criminal Investigation Bureau, toured the Yavapai Family Advocacy Center (YFAC) in June of this year. Anne, who had just completed child forensic interview training, offered her assistance with pending interviews at YFAC. While she was there, Anne noticed the YFAC playground was in a state of disrepair and unsafe for children to use. The wooden mulch used for ground cover provided a haven for insects along with mold and mildew due to improper drainage. With permission of YFAC staff, Anne volunteered to take on the task of making the playground safe for the kids at YFAC.

Anne was asked to document the work involved in the project and highlight those who contributed time, money, or material leading to the successful completion of the playground. Her words below best describe what it took to complete the task and who provided assistance along the way. Sheriff Mascher truly appreciates Anne’s work in spearheading this project for the kids at YFAC and wanted to share the story with the community. The Sheriff’s Office thanks her and all those who participated in the renovation.

Anne wrote the following:  

“In June 2014, Mrs. Kathryn Chapman, YFAC Director, gave me a tour of the facility and YFAC’s enclosed playground. The playground was in such disrepair that children could not play in it due to the mold and mildew that was growing in the wooden mulch that had been placed in the playground when YFAC first opened about 10 years ago.

Mrs. Chapman advised me that YFAC is part of a non-profit organization, Prevent Child Abuse Arizona. She also advised that, since she is operating YFAC on a very limited budget, she has to secure donations to be able to keep YFAC’s doors open. Therefore, she did not have the available funds to improve the playground area.

After she and I consulted with a general contractor, whose estimate for improving the playground was far beyond YFAC’s reach, I volunteered to coordinate the playground improvement project, i.e., determine what specific jobs needed to be done; establish a budget for the Project and seek vendors/donors to contribute to this Project. Mrs. Chapman also told me that, if I would take on this responsibility, she, through her contacts, would also seek additional donors for cash and in kind donations.

Subsequently, I discussed this project at length with my boss, LT. Tom Boelts and also with VIP Investigator Paul Chastain regarding how we could initially raise money for this project.

As immediate Past President of the Prescott Noon Lions Club, Chastain secured a donation of $500 from that club and $1,000 from the Fraternal Order of Police whose membership includes many YCSO personnel. 

Chastain also contacted Vice President Mike Janiszewski, Lions Sunrise Club, Prescott Valley, requesting Lions members to assist in raking out and disposing the rotted wooden mulch in the playground. Janiszewski did so and also secured the free use of small dumpster from Patriot Disposal.

The Yavapai County Probation Office (Van Parson, Community Service Officer) also provided free labor (probationers) for this chore. Janiszewski also secured the cooperation of the City of PV to cut down and remove 2 large trees in the playground.

In the meantime, after I located and reviewed a copy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Guidelines for Playground Construction, I consulted with Detective Keith Levin and Mrs. Chapman. I then determined the playground would require a drainage system; fill dirt and leaching soil; weed barrier fabric and shredded rubber mulch.

Through my contacts, l learned that Steve Leigh, Owner, Prescott Dirt and Gravel is a recommended local company with which to deal for the dirt and sand. When I approached Mr. Leigh has was very receptive to the project. After several meetings, he advised that he would provide the necessary 60 tons of fill dirt and arena sand with delivery, all free of charge.

After contacting several rubber mulch vendors (both in and out of state) and obtaining their samples, Mrs. Chapman and I agreed that CRM Rubber, Mesa, AZ (Dawn Helms, Manager) offered the best discounted price for the amount of mulch the Project required. After submitting dimensions to Ms. Helms, she advised us of the overall price and freight charges. She understood we were trying to raise the funds to make the purchase and would await our final call to place the order.  She would bag and set aside the amount we eventually would purchase.

Knowing that the Project required expert landscaping, I asked Mr. Leigh whom he could recommend. He referred me to Grant Griffiths, New Life Landscapes (PV). After Mr. Griffiths met with Mrs. Chapman and me and reviewed our list of required work (create drains, remove weeds/debris, trim bushes, lay grass seed, block wall repair, weed barrier installation, spread arena sand), he advised that he would provide all work and all materials free of charge.

I then contacted Kenny Van Keuren, Director, Yavapai County Facilities, who agreed to supply the use of a forklift to offload the (4) 2000 lb. bags (super sacks) of rubber mulch from CRM Rubber once it was delivered to YFAC.

Although the project began in June, its completion was delayed due to the ongoing monsoons. 

On Friday, November 14, 2014, after we staged and completed the various related tasks, the YFAC playground project was finally completed.  

In addition to the above mentioned donors, additional contributions were also received from Prescott Sunrise Lions; YFAC Board Member, YFAC Volunteer, and Home Depot.”

Suspect Arrested for Tagging/Vandalizing Properties in the Dewey/Humboldt area

Posted on Dec 9, 2014

Suspect Arrested for Tagging/Vandalizing Properties in the Dewey/Humboldt area – Locations included a Church and School         

***

A 17-year-old male from Humboldt was arrested Friday, December 5, 2014, at his home for several charges including Aggravated Criminal Damage x3 and Criminal Damage x5, along with drug charges.

Between November 3rd and the 15th, 2014, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office received numerous reports of vandalism involving spray painted graffiti around the Dewey-Humboldt community. Incident locations include a Baptist church on Highway 69, the Humboldt Elementary School, US Post Office, activity center, library and other private properties.

Background - In late November, a YCSO deputy began looking into a series of tagging/graffiti vandalism incidents throughout his patrol area. After reviewing a series of reports, the deputy noticed the graffiti markings appeared similar in type, style, and color, indicating a single “author” willing to vandalize properties in town including a church and school. During follow-up, the deputy recalled prior contact with a 17-year-old disorderly juvenile a month earlier that lives near the church that had been vandalized. The deputy was able to find several social media sites connected to this juvenile and saw images similar to or an exact representation of the graffiti seen throughout town. The juvenile also made ongoing reference to drug use on these sites. A records check indicated the juvenile was also on active probation.

Based on the investigation, the deputy was able to obtain a search warrant for juvenile’s home which was served Friday, December 5th. The juvenile/suspect answered the door and was detained. During a search of the suspect’s home, deputies found evidence linking him to graffiti crimes throughout Dewey-Humboldt along with items indicating ongoing drug use/possession. In the presence of his probation officer, the suspect admitted to the multiple vandalism cases and drug use.

The suspect was transported to and booked at the Prescott Juvenile Detention Center on the indicated charges.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Investigation of Business Burglary in Wilhoit leads to Arrest

Posted on Dec 9, 2014

----- Booking photo may be seen in the attachment ----

On December 4, 2014, around 7:30 AM, YCSO deputies were called to the Country Corner Store on Highway 89 in Wilhoit, Arizona, regarding a burglary that occurred while the store was closed. The suspect broke out glass in the front door to gain access to the store’s interior and stole several packages of beer. The burglary occurred during the early morning hours on December 4, 2014.

Later in that day, deputies had the opportunity to review surveillance video from the store and developed information identifying 20-year-old Wesley Cron of Wilhoit as the suspect. Clothing worn by the suspect observed in the video was identified by a witness as belonging to Cron. During follow-up, deputies were able to obtain information on Cron’s whereabouts and he was detained following a traffic stop just after 6:30 PM in a residential neighborhood in Wilhoit. Deputies learned that Cron had an active warrant out of Prescott and he was arrested. Cron denied any involvement in the Country Corner Store burglary at the time.

A detective from YCSO’s Criminal Investigations Unit assisted with the investigation by interviewing Cron following the warrant arrest. During the interview, Cron eventually admitted to the burglary.

At approximately 11:30PM on December 4th, Cron was booked on charges including Burglary, Deface Property x2, and Theft. He remains in-custody on a total bond of $7750.

 

Fire in Bagdad residential area Quelled Quickly

Posted on Dec 2, 2014

(photos may be seen in the attachment)        

***

On November 28, 2014, around 10:30 am, a YCSO deputy patrolling in Bagdad observed a grass fire behind a home in the 100 block of E. Hopi Drive. As the deputy approached the home, he saw a tenant trying to put out the fire with a garden hose and shovel. The deputy immediately called for Bagdad Fire Department personnel who arrived quickly and were able to extinguish the fire.

The tenant told deputies he had dumped hot coals onto the grass area behind his residence and left them unattended while using the bathroom inside the home. When he returned, the grass and brush surrounding the coals were burning and the fire was beginning to spread as he tried to put it out. The coals were from a fire pit which had been lit the previous night.

As we have seen all around Yavapai County in the past, these seemingly small fires can spread fast and become a major incident if not controlled immediately. Added to the concern in this situation is that the fire was adjacent to homes with a lot of dry fuel available in a nearby open field.

As a result, the tenant was issued a citation for Reckless Burning.

YCSO and Fire officials never want anyone to hesitate to call for assistance when a fire incident like this occurs. The tendency to think one can control such a fire delays response, and could lead to a disastrous situation simply avoided by calling for help immediately.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Emergency Notification System will be tested Wednesday, December 3rd

Posted on Dec 1, 2014

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The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office will be TESTING the Emergency Notification System (ENS), also known as Code Red, this Wednesday, December 3rd, by calling the entire community.

The calls will begin at 10 AM and will continue until the entire database has been attempted. These calls will give Yavapai Sheriff Communication’s personnel the chance to operate the system as if there has been a community wide disaster. Additionally, the message being delivered directs recipients to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office website at www.ycsoaz.gov, and the Emergency Notification System link in the blue menu bar at the top of the page. Accessing this page will allow you to submit additional notification numbers. The test message also asks that recipients spread the word by mentioning the system to family, friends, and neighbors. Please consider signing up or adding contact information before the test notifications so you can be assured the system is able to reach you.

Sheriff Scott Mascher suggests that “all individuals and businesses should take the time to visit our website and add contact information to include landline and cell phones, as well as email and text addresses. If your contact information is not in the database, you will NOT receive a call when an urgent message is sent.” The Sheriff’s Office also encourages businesses to register, as well as individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number recently, and those who use a cell phones exclusively or have VoIP phones (such as Vonage) as their primary numbers.

ENS, “CodeRED,” allows geographically based delivery, which means street addresses are required, along with a primary phone number, to ensure emergency notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation. Notification preferences can be selected during sign-up. Also consider downloading the Code Red app for your smartphone.

Those without Internet access may call 928-771-3260 Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm for assistance signing up for the free service. Additional phone numbers, email, and text addresses may also be entered. All information in the system is held in strict confidence.

Another advantage to getting these alerts - If there is a fire, flood, or other emergency incident near your home while you’re away, the notification allows you to contact neighbors, or friends in the area to check on your property, remove valuables, or even secure animals if necessary.

Direct access to the CODE RED sign up page is here:

https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/A45C10E5EC0F

 

 

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Suspect Arrested for Attempted Homicide – Peach Springs, Arizona

Posted on Dec 1, 2014

(Booking photo may be seen in the attachment) 

***

PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - On Novmeber 29, 2014, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 52-year-old Bryan Wilson for Attempted Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Armed Robbery on a lot in the Antelope Valley Estates near Peach Springs, Arizona. Wilson was booked at the Camp Verde Detention Center and remains in-custody on a $200,000 bond.

Background -- Deputies were dispatched to the indicated location on November 29, 2014, around 8:15 PM regarding a 68-year-old male victim reportedly shot in the leg. Deputies were also told the suspect, Bryan Wilson, was still holding a rifle and trying to shoot the victim again. A YCSO field supervisor arrived first and was able to detain Wilson without incident. Both Wilson and the victim live in separate locations on the same property.

The victim told deputies he had been in an argument with Wilson over money he owed Wilson. Wilson was armed with a .22 caliber rifle at the time. He gave some cash to Wilson as requested and when he turned to walk away, Wilson fired 2 shots with one of the bullets hitting him in the leg. A female witness on scene intervened by blocking Wilson’s view of the victim as Wilson tried to shoot the victim again. Another male, who was present at the time of the shooting, was able to grab the rifle from Wilson after he shot the victim. Wilson then pulled a revolver from his belt holster which the male witness was able to take from Wilson’s grasp. As Wilson was about to produce another handgun intending to shoot the victim again, police sirens were heard and Wilson relinquished the pistol.

EMS personnel arrived and treated the victim for a gunshot would to his left leg. The victim was airlifted to a Las Vegas hosptial for treatment of the non-life threatening injuries.

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Hiker Suffers Fatal Fall

Posted on Dec 1, 2014

On November 27, 2014, a 61-year-old Tucson woman suffered a fatal fall while hiking near the Devil’s Bridge outside Sedona in the Coconino National Forest.

The Sedona Fire Department was called out around 4PM on November 27, 2014, regarding an injured hiker that had fallen on what is known as the “stairs’ located next to Devil’s Bridge. This area is composed of natural red rock with some of the rock stacked in such a way to form a very steep staircase. When fire personnel arrived about 30 minutes after the call, they found the victim with her husband and 2 other persons, who identified themselves as doctors, attempting to revive her. The victim had suffered head trauma from a fall estimated at 8 feet.

The victim’s husband told deputies he was hiking with his wife and son and when they reached the Devil’s Bridge, his wife decided not to venture out on the bridge. She told them she would begin hiking back ahead of them and left towards the stairs. According to the victim’s husband, he and his son began hiking back only 30 seconds after she left. As both were hiking down the stairs, they discovered she had fallen. Two people who identified themselves as doctors were next to her and had started CPR. The doctors alternated resusciation efforts until the arrival of fire personnel who pronounced her deceased.

Sedona fire crews transported the victim down the mountain by hiking to the trailhead and releasing the body to the custody of the Yavapai County Medical Examiner.

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Traffic Stop by Patrol Deputies results in Seizure of Nearly 5 pounds of Meth -3 Suspects In-Custody

Posted on Nov 28, 2014

(photos may be seen in the attachment)         

***

On November 26, 2104, around 2:30 AM, deputies saw a black passenger car travelling in excess of 80 mph in a 65 mph speed zone on north I 17 in Camp Verde. The vehicle exited towards highway 260 and ran a red light as it entered the highway. Due to the violations, deputies stopped the vehicle and contacted the driver, Marie Bonnesen, age 31 from Peoria. The vehicle also contained 2 passengers identified as Xavier Alaniz, 24 years of age from Goodyear, and Harley Partch, 20 years of age from Avondale.

In discussion with deputies, each of the occupants appeared deceptive when answering questions regarding travel plans and their relationship to each other. This, along with additional information developed during the contact, led deputies to believe the vehicle likely contained contraband in the form of drugs. Bonnesen declined a deputy’s request to search the vehicle.

Deputies contacted a certified K9 team from the Camp Verde Marshall’s Office who arrived and initiated an exterior K9 “sniff” of the vehicle. During the walk around, the K9 displayed an alert on the trunk area of the vehicle indicating an odor of illicit drugs. Based on the alert, deputies inspected the trunk and found nearly 5 pounds of packaged methamphetamine, a loaded 9mm handgun, prescription medications, and various drug paraphernalia items (see photo).

All 3 of the vehicle’s occupants were arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center on charges including Transportation of Dangerous Drugs, Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Possession of a Deadly Weapon during a Felony, and Weapons Misconduct. Bonnesen and Alaniz were also charged as Prohibited Possessors due to prior felony convictions. All remain in-custody – each held on a $60,000 bond.

Investigation is ongoing.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

 

Recent Incidents Overview – Methamphetamine found in Furniture Safe / Rescue

Posted on Nov 26, 2014

(Photos available in the attachment)         

***

 

K9 Alert reveals nearly 5 pounds of methamphetamine in a furniture safe (media release delayed due to ongoing investigation) –

On November 18, 2014, at approximately 7:30 AM, K9 deputies arrested Candelario Fonseca, age 33 from Missouri, and Callie Smith, age 27 from Missouri, on numerous drug charges following the discovery 4.8 pounds of methamphetamine and a firearm in their vehicle. Both remain in-custody – each on a $30,000 bond – charges include Transportation of Dangerous Drugs and Misconduct involving Weapons.

Background - A K9 deputy observed a brown Ford pick-up travelling east on I40 commit a lane change violation and as result, stopped the truck near milepost 139. The truck contained 3 occupants including Fonseca as the driver, Smith riding as a passenger and another male. While conversing with them, deputies noticed numerous signs of deception as the occupants of the truck appeared to be more nervous than the innocent motoring public. Additionally, they were unable to answer basic questions that a group of passengers sharing a destination would commonly know. At this point, it was believed the vehicle likely contained contraband in the form of drugs.

The deputy deployed his K9 partner and observed the K9 alert on some furniture in the bed of the truck. During a check of the furniture, deputies located a safe installed and hidden under a wooden tabletop. Deputies opened the safe and found 4 packages wrapped in heavy duty tape all containing methamphetamine. During a search of the truck’s interior, deputies found an additional 32 grams of meth hidden inside a portion of vehicle trim and a .45 caliber handgun wrapped in a towel. During follow-up, the third passenger was deemed not involved with the contraband and eventually released. (continued)

Handicapped man rescued in remote Camp Verde area –

On November 23, 2014, around 4:30 PM, deputies were dispatched to a wash area off Forest Road 9203J, northeast of Camp Verde, regarding an SUV that appeared stranded in the wash. The reporting party also heard some yelling near the vehicle but could not get close enough to see what was happening. Deputies arrived and had to utilize a 4x4 vehicle on a portion of the road and then could only access the target location after hiking another ½ mile. Upon arrival, they located 41-year-old Sean Maguire of Rimrock, lying in the wash in front of his vehicle with a wheelchair parked nearby. Sean told deputies he was a paraplegic, recently had back surgery, and had sustained injuries from this crash. He was extremely dehydrated and claimed he had been stuck for several days in the wash without food or water.

Sean told deputies he left a family member’s home in Camp Verde a few days prior with no particular destination in mind. He was unsure how he ended up in the wash. Sean also indicated he uses a walking cane to assist in controlling the gas and brakes on his SUV. Family members last saw Sean on November 20, 2014.

DPS Ranger was notified and Sean was airlifted to safety in Camp Verde and treated pending a helicopter ride to a Phoenix area hospital. Sean suffered dehydration, rib injuries, and back pain.

YCSO is very grateful to the reporting party who was alert to cries from Sean and called right away. Sean was truly stranded and subject to exposure as the nights had been very cold and there was no way he could move his vehicle out of the wash.

Cottonwood Robbery Suspect IN-CUSTODY

Posted on Nov 25, 2014

(BOOKING PHOTO MAY BE SEEN IN THE ATTACHMENT)         

***

Based on investigative leads developed over the last few days, detectives from the Criminal Investigations Bureau were able to identify the Garcia’s Market robbery suspect as 29-year-old Jason Bunescu from Cottonwood. This morning, detectives located Bunescu at Yavapai College in Clarkdale and arrested him without incident. Bunescu is also on active probation and subsequent to his arrest, detectives completed a probation search of his home. During the search, detectives located a quantity of heroin and a large amount of stolen jewelry which has been linked to an area burglary still under investigation.

The suspect vehicle, a dark green 1998 4-door Jeep with handicapped plates, was also found. The passenger was not involved.

Bunescu was booked on charges including Robbery, Theft, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Possession of Narcotics and Burglary. Bond has been set at $50,000.

YCSO would like to thank media outlets for publishing the initial information quickly as it generated lots of phone calls to detectives.

____________________________________________________________________________

Media release issued November 18, 2014 -- On November 17, 2014, just before 4 PM, a suspect entered Garcia’s Market, located at the corner of State Highway 89A (3500 block) and Zalesky Road, Bridgeport, and committed a robbery. The suspect walked behind the checkout counter and held a knife to an employee’s waist and demanded money. It appeared to the victim the suspect had intentionally waited until there were no customers inside the store before approaching. The employee complied and handed over cash, mostly in 20 dollar denominations, to the suspect who then left the store in a 1990’s model, forest green, Jeep Cherokee four door vehicle which displayed a handicapped license plate. The suspect is described as a white male, in his 30’s, 5’ 10” tall, 170 pounds, blond hair, possibly having blue eyes, wearing a white “hoody” type jacket, dark colored baggy pants, and a dark colored baseball cap. The jacket displayed some type of lettering which the victim was unable to recognize. The suspect was last seen driving towards Cottonwood. The suspect vehicle contained a passenger who appeared 50-years-of-age with short dark hair.

The victim was not injured. Another employee who was inside the store during the robbery was interviewed as a potential witness.

Deputies and neighboring police agencies searched the area but were not able to locate the suspect or vehicle. Crime scene technicians arrived to gather evidence.

If anyone has information regarding the suspect and/or suspect vehicle, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260. Callers can also contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 and remain anonymous. A cash reward is offered only to callers who contact Silent Witness directly.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Prostitution Sting nets 9 Suspects seeking Minors/Adult Woman for Sex-

Posted on Nov 21, 2014

 (suspect photos can be seen in the attachment)  

3 of the Suspects are Probationers      

***

On November 18th and 19th, 2014, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office again joined with several area law enforcement agencies to combat Human Trafficking/Prostitution in Yavapai County. YCSO along with Prescott PD, Cottonwood PD, Chino Valley PD, the Gang Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission task force (GITEM - DPS), FBI, Partners Against Narcotics Trafficking (PANT) and the Department of Homeland Security conducted an operation to target the buyers of child and adult prostitutes.

It is important to understand that Human Trafficking is the second most prolific crime in the world, second only to narcotics trafficking in terms of revenue generated. The victims of human trafficking are often teenaged girls who, for various reasons, are forced to engage in repeated sexual assaults for the profit of a “pimp” soliciting customers for prostitutes. In an effort to eliminate the demand for prostitutes, this operation targeted buyers who would otherwise willingly hire underage and/or adult prostitutes for sexual gratification. After the suspects initiated contact in response to a notice from an internet publication, they made arrangements to meet the “prostitutes,” actually undercover law enforcement officers, in a specified Yavapai County motel room. Over the course of the two days, the team of combined law enforcement officers apprehended these men who, even with knowledge some of the “prostitutes” were legally considered children, still intended to exploit them anyway through paid sex acts.

A total of 9 adult men were arrested following their request for sex acts and an offer or presentation of payment in the hotel room. Names, details, and booking information follow:

November 18, 2014 - Benjamin Tullos, age 22, from Ohio, arrested for 2 counts of Engaging in Child Prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in-custody on $40,000 bond.

 

 

November 18, 2014 - Samuel Cogo, age 28, from California, arrested for Engaging in Prostitution with a Known Minor, after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He has been released after posting a $40,000 bond.

November 19, 2014 – Timothy Callahan, age 44, from Prescott, arrested for 1 count of Sexual Abuse after intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person he believed was a prostitute who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. He has since been released on a $3000 bond. The Sexual Abuse charge resulted when Callahan fondled a female who he believed was a prostitute prior to arrest.

November 19, 2014 - Craig Schoonover, age 45, from Dewey, Az., arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He has since been released on a $1500 bond. Currently on probation related to prior drug offenses.

November 19, 2014 – Buren “Jarrett” Burgess, age 41, from Prescott, arrested for 2 counts of Engaging in Child Prostitution, after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes for sex. He remains in-custody on a $40,000 bond. Burgess is currently on lifetime probation due to prior child abuse related convictions.

November 19, 2014 - Keaton Durkee, age 34, from Phoenix, arrested for 2 counts of Sexual Abuse, after intentionally or knowingly engaging in sexual contact with a person he believed was a prostitute. He has since been released on a $5000 bond. During contact with a person he believed was a prostitute, he became aggressive and committed 2 acts of sexual abuse by fondling the female – actually an undercover law enforcement officer.

November 19, 2014 – Patrick Fisher, age 55, from Prescott, arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. Fisher has been released on $1500 bond. He is currently on probation due to a prior domestic violence conviction.

November 19, 2014 – David Lorch, age 50, from Prescott, arrested for 1 count of Engaging in Prostitution, a misdemeanor, after soliciting a person he believed was a prostitute. He remains in-custody on a $1500 bond.

November 19, 2014 – Noel Astorga, age 30, from Chino Valley, AZ, arrested for 2 counts of Engaging in Child Prostitution after soliciting persons he believed were underage prostitutes. He remains in-custody on a $20,000 bond.

  

“I will continue to make these types of operations a priority for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office because the goal of protecting our children from sexual predators must continue. I would like to thank all the assisting agencies for their support and participation in the investigation. On behalf of my fellow law enforcement partners, it is my hope these arrests send a message that preying on our children will not be tolerated in this County.”

Sheriff Scott Mascher

 

 

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Suspect sought for Robbery at Bridgeport Market

Posted on Nov 19, 2014

On November 17, 2014, just before 4 PM, a suspect entered Garcia’s Market, located at the corner of State Highway 89A (3500 block) and Zalesky Road, Bridgeport, and committed a robbery. The suspect walked behind the checkout counter and held a knife to an employee’s waist and demanded money. It appeared to the victim the suspect had intentionally waited until there were no customers inside the store before approaching. The employee complied and handed over cash, mostly in 20 dollar denominations, to the suspect who then left the store in a 1990’s model, forest green, Jeep Cherokee four door vehicle which displayed a handicapped license plate. The suspect is described as a white male, in his 30’s, 5’ 10” tall, 170 pounds, blond hair, possibly having blue eyes, wearing a white “hoody” type jacket, dark colored baggy pants, and a dark colored baseball cap. The jacket displayed some type of lettering which the victim was unable to recognize. The suspect was last seen driving towards Cottonwood. The suspect vehicle contained a passenger who appeared 50-years-of-age with short dark hair.

The victim was not injured. Another employee who was inside the store during the robbery was interviewed as a potential witness.

Deputies and neighboring police agencies searched the area but were not able to locate the suspect or vehicle. Crime scene technicians arrived to gather evidence.

If anyone has information regarding the suspect and/or suspect vehicle, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260. Callers can also contact Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 and remain anonymous. A cash reward is offered only to callers who contact Silent Witness directly.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Sex Offender Notification - Cottonwood

Posted on Nov 14, 2014

Level 2 Sex Offender Notification –Neitzel  (photo of offender may be seen in the attachment)

(Cottonwood)

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The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is required to release the following information pursuant to ARS 13-3825, the Community Notification on Sex Offenders Law. The offender in this publication has indicated that he will be living in the unincorporated area of Yavapai County. It is the responsibility of the Chief Law Enforcement Office having jurisdiction where the offender resides to make notification to the community. Notification must be made when certain sex offenders are released from Arizona State prison, accepted under an interstate compact or released from the county jail back into the community. Offenders are categorized into three levels: Level One (low risk to the community), Level Two (intermediate risk to the community), and Level Three (high risk to the community).

 

The individual who appears on this notification, 53-year-old David Allen Neitzel, has been convicted of a sex offense which allows for community notification. This sex offender has advised the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office that he will be living at 2654 S Sunset Drive, Cottonwood, Arizona, 86326. This is individual is not wanted by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office at this time.

 

Offender Neitzel was convicted of Incest in 2006. The female victim was 20 years of age at the time of the incident. He is considered a Level 2 (intermediate) sex offender.

 

This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is the Sheriff’s Office belief that an informed community is a safer community. CITIZEN ABUSES OF THIS INFORMATION TO THREATEN, INTIMIDATE OR HARASS SEX OFFENDERS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

 

The YCSO would like to remind the public of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification program available at www.ycsoaz.gov. This registry will allow anyone to enter a local address which will result in a list of sex offenders registered in Yavapai County living within a one mile radius of the entered address. The registry will also provide information about particular sex offenders registered in Yavapai County. Additionally, a free email notification program is available which will alert you to any sex offender registered in Yavapai County who resides within one mile of the address entered on your subscription.

 

For more details about this important public service tool, please view the online presentation available by clicking the Sex Offender Registry link at the top of the YCSO home page, www.ycsoaz.gov.

 

The YCSO Crime Prevention Unit may be reached at (928) 771-7441 and is available to help you join or start a neighborhood watch program as well as provide you with useful information on personal safety. If you have information regarding current criminal activity on this or any other offender, please call Yavapai Silent Witness at (800) 932-3232.

 

 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at

(928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

 

 

 

Sex Offender Notification - Cottonwood (Booth)

Posted on Oct 6, 2014

* Sex Offender photo can be seen in the attachment *

***

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is required to release the following information pursuant to ARS 13-3825, the Community Notification on Sex Offenders Law. The offender in this publication has indicated that he will be living in the unincorporated area of Yavapai County. It is the responsibility of the Chief Law Enforcement Office having jurisdiction where the offender resides to make notification to the community. Notification must be made when certain sex offenders are released from Arizona State prison, accepted under an interstate compact, or released from the county jail back into the community. Offenders are categorized into three levels: Level One (low risk to the community), Level Two (intermediate risk to the community), and Level Three (high risk to the community).

The individual who appears on this notification, 43-year-old Kenneth Shannon Booth, has been convicted of a sex offense which allows for community notification. This sex offender has advised the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office that he will be living at 3305 E Colt Circle, Cottonwood, AZ, 86326. This is individual is not wanted by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office at this time.  

Offender Booth was 20-years-old when he entered the home of a 12-year-old female and touched her. Offender Booth has had numerous contacts with law enforcement for unrelated incidents. Offender Booth is currently on unsupervised probation and is a level 3 (high) risk.        

This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is the Sheriff’s Office belief that an informed community is a safer community. CITIZEN ABUSES OF THIS INFORMATION TO THREATEN, INTIMIDATE OR HARASS SEX OFFENDERS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. 

The YCSO would like to remind the public of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification program available at www.ycsoaz.gov. This registry will allow anyone to enter a local address which will result in a list of sex offenders registered in Yavapai County living within a one mile radius of the entered address. The registry will also provide information about particular sex offenders registered in Yavapai County. Additionally, a free email notification program is available which will alert you to any sex offender registered in Yavapai County who resides within one mile of the address entered on your subscription.

For more details about this important public service tool, please view the online presentation available by clicking the Sex Offender Registry link at the top of the YCSO home page, www.ycsoaz.gov.

The YCSO Crime Prevention Unit may be reached at (928) 771-7441 and is available to help you join or start a neighborhood watch program as well as provide you with useful information on personal safety. If you have information regarding current criminal activity on this or any other offender, please call Yavapai Silent Witness at (800) 932-3232. 

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at

(928) 771-3260 or the YCSO website:  www.ycsoaz.gov

 

 

Suspect sought in Burglary of Black Canyon City Restaurant (photos in attachment)

Posted on Sep 3, 2014

 

September 3, 2014

 On the morning of September 1, 2014, the owner of Beni’s Pizza, located in the 34500 block of Old Black Canyon Highway, reported that his business was burglarized overnight.

Based on a review of video security images, the apparent lone suspect entered the business by breaking out a window. Once inside, the suspect tore away drywall and gained access to the front counter and office stealing several hundred dollars in cash. The suspect also turned off power to the restaurant resulting in extensive damage to food products under refrigeration. Food loss value exceeds $2000.

The suspect is described as a male, age 20’s to early 30’s, medium build, wearing a camouflage design hooded jacket, shorts, black sneakers, and white socks. The burglary occurred at approximately 12:30 AM on September 1, 2014.

Security video stills of the suspect

If anyone has information regarding the suspect in this case, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 928-771-3260 or report tips anonymously to Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232. Refer to case number 14-031307.

 

 

Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death – Seeking Public Input (see photo in the attachment)

Posted on Aug 1, 2014

Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death – Seeking Public Input          

***

Just before 11am yesterday, July 31, 2014, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the report of a dead body lying in water in Beaver Creek along the Bell Trail in Wet Beaver Creek Canyon, Yavapai County. The body was discovered by hikers.

The body was eventually identified as that of 43-year-old George Wesley Montgomery from Peoria, Arizona. He is described as a black male, 6’ 2” in height, who was wearing a yellow shirt and shorts. Montgomery had suffered a gunshot wound and a firearm was recovered near his body. The manner of death has not been determined as detectives continue to investigate the circumstances.

Montgomery last had contact with family members by phone on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, around 7 PM. At that time there was an indication he was hiking along the Bell trail. Detectives are asking anyone who might have been hiking on Bell Trail between the hours of 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday, to contact them regarding this investigation.

Montgomery’s vehicle, a 2002 white GMC Envoy, was located and recovered from a turnout area near the trail.

If anyone has information regarding this case, please contact Detective John McDormett at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Jail Escapee Now a Fugitive - $5000 Reward Offered

Posted on Jul 14, 2014

Jail Escapee Now a Fugitive - $5000 Reward Offered

***

Yavapai Silent Witness, 1800-932-3232 is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of fugitive Wade Cole Dickinson, 28, who escaped from the Camp Verde Detention Center Saturday afternoon.

Prior to the escape, Dickinson was concluding several criminal cases involving fraud schemes, false reporting of a stolen vehicle, theft, prohibited possession of a firearm, weapons misconduct, possession of dangerous drugs, etc., all occurring while he was on probation. He was expecting 24 year prison term. Victim’s included business associates, friends and an insurance company.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014, around 2:30 pm, Dickinson was able to scale a wall in the recreation yard of the Detention Center, separate overhead security fencing to access the roof and climb down to ground level. Dickinson then ran across the parking area and was seen attempting to steal a small pick-up truck parked outside a business located along Highway 260 in front of the jail. When the business owners came outside, Dickinson ran across Highway 260 and then east along Old Highway 279 out of sight. The owners immediately called YCSO to report a possible escape. The jail was quickly locked down and following a head count, Dickinson was confirmed missing.

Just before 11 PM that night, YCSO received a credible report Dickinson was seen on Middle Verde Road in the area of I17. An exhaustive search with the assistance of multiple agencies and tracking dogs was unsuccessful and concluded late yesterday. YCSO still cautions residents in the Camp Verde area to remain on alert as Dickinson does have acquaintances in the Camp Verde area.

 An internal review into the escape incident is underway.

YCSO appreciates the numerous phone calls received since the escape. Every credible lead will be checked. If someone wishes to remain anonymous, please call Silent Witness. If you see the fugitive, call 911. Do not approach Dickinson.

Anyone who provides aid, support, concealment, or hinders investigative efforts with knowledge Dickinson is a wanted fugitive, could be arrested and charged criminally.

A wanted poster with details on Dickinson’s physical description can be accessed in the alert box on our homepage at www.ycsoaz.gov. Also, check the alert box for the latest updates.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov

Suspects Sought in Cottonwood Home Invasion this Morning

Posted on Jul 12, 2014

 Suspects Sought in Cottonwood Home Invasion this Morning

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PRELIMINARY INFORMATION - At approximately 5:15AM this morning, YCSO deputies were dispatched to the 900 block of North Rio Verde Circle, Cottonwood, regarding a home invasion robbery.

Deputies spoke with a female victim in her 50’s who explained that 3 men forcibly entered her home sometime around 4 AM, tied her up, and stole property. The victim was not physically injured or assaulted otherwise. The suspects told her they were armed. Details on their descriptions are expected in follow-up notifications.

During the investigation, detectives developed information regarding the suspect’s vehicle which is identified as a black Nissan Maxima, possibly a 2005 or 2006 model, all passenger windows blacked out with tint like that used for limousines. The vehicle displayed an Arizona Cardinal license plate, unknown numbers and last seen direction. Neighbors told deputies they had seen the vehicle in the area the prior evening.

Detectives are following up on leads this afternoon.

If you have any info, please contact YCSO at 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 to report tips anonymously. Refer to case number 14-024747.