Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 charged with grand theft

Suspects allegedly involved in $100,000 heist from Ketchum home


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Five Blaine County residents face felony grand theft charges for alleged involvement in stealing some $100,000 worth of jewelry and other goods this spring from a home in west Ketchum.

Ketchum Police Chief Steve Harkins reported Thursday that "approximately $100,000 or more worth of valuables" were taken from the home of Mary Grace Feehan while she was away from home in April and May.

"The property included jewelry, a fur coat, golf clubs and various other items," Harkins reported in a news release. "The jewelry items were reported as expensive pieces of gold necklaces, gemstones, bracelets and watches. The theft allegedly happened after the victim traveled out of town and gave permission to one of the suspects to stay at her residence."

The theft was reported to police when Feehan returned home in June. Harkins reported that many of the items were sold to local jewelry businesses and have now been recovered.

Harkins identified the suspects as David Kevin Aranda, 19, of Hailey, Juan Carlos Molina, 20, of Hailey, Benjamin Patrick Dugan, 32, of Ketchum and Shanna Marie De Leon, 35, of Ketchum.

Police did not identify a 16-year-old Ketchum boy who allegedly had access to the home.

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Probable-cause affidavits filed by Ketchum Detective Tom Moreland allege that the items were stolen by the 16-year-old boy. Aranda and Molina allegedly helped the juvenile sell some of the items at Diamond Buyers in Ketchum and Christopher and Co. in Hailey. Dugan and De Leon allegedly received or purchased some of the goods from the juvenile and had them in possession knowing that they were stolen.

The boy has been charged in Blaine County Juvenile Court with grand theft. He was arrested on June 7 and has since been released from custody. Court records do not specify the terms of his release. Hailey attorney Christopher Simms has been appointed as public defender.

Aranda has been charged in Blaine County Magistrate Court with aiding and abetting grand theft. Arrested on June 9, he has now been released on $7,500 bond. The Roark Law Firm in Hailey has been appointed as public defender.

Molina has also been charged with aiding and abetting grand theft. He was also arrested on June 9, but is now free on $5,000 bond. Hailey attorney Cheri Hicks was appointed public defender.

Dugan remained incarcerated Tuesday in the Blaine County jail on $25,000 bond. He was charged in Magistrate Court with grand theft by possession of stolen property following his arrest on June 15. The Roark Law Firm was appointed public defender.

De Leon was also charged with grand theft by possession of stolen property following her arrest on June 15. She has since been released on $3,500 bond. Hailey attorney Douglas Werth has been appointed public defender.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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