Friday, May 16, 2014

3 arrested in valley crime spree

2 adults and 1 juvenile charged with multiple felonies

Express Staff Writer

Top: David Kevin Aranda; bottom: Juan Carlos Molina-Lopez.

    Two Hailey men and a Bellevue juvenile face multiple felony charges following a crime spree early Tuesday morning in Hailey and Ketchum when a police vehicle and numerous private vehicles were vandalized, two were stolen, several homes were burglarized and a financial transaction card was illegally used.
    Hailey police Lt. Steve England, assigned as lead investigator, described the mayhem as a “crime spree and a half.”
    The three suspects were arrested by Hailey police later Tuesday following an intensive investigation aided by numerous citizen reports and video surveillance cameras. Hailey police were assisted in the investigation by the Ketchum Police Department and the Bellevue Marshal’s Office.
    Taken into custody were David Kevin Aranda, 21, Juan Carlos Molina-Lopez, 23, and the 17-year-old juvenile.
    Aranda remained incarcerated Thursday in the Blaine County jail on $40,000 bond. He was formally charged with seven felonies at an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon in Blaine County Magistrate Court. The charges include two counts of malicious injury to property, three counts of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of fraudulent possession of a financial transaction card.
    Molina-Lopez also remained incarcerated Thursday in the Blaine County jail. He was formally charged with three felonies Wednesday afternoon in magistrate court. The crimes include single counts of malicious injury to property, burglary and grand theft.
    Because he is a juvenile, the status of the 17-year-old boy was not immediately available. Hailey police reported in a news release Wednesday that the boy was arrested on “numerous counts of burglary, felony malicious injury to property and felony possession of a financial transaction card.”
    A probable-cause affidavit filed in the case by England states that vandalism and thefts occurred in the Woodside area of southeast Hailey, in the vicinity of the intersection of Bullion Street and River Street in west Hailey and in the Evergreen Lane area of west Ketchum.
    England reported that several vehicles in the River and Bullion streets area, including a Blaine County Sheriff’s Office vehicle parked at Nelson’s Auto, were vandalized with copper spray paint that was likely stolen earlier in a garage burglary. Several vehicles also sustained broken windows.
    England reported numerous instances of vandalism, burglary and theft in the Woodside area, where a 2003 Honda Element was stolen and later recovered in the Evergreen Lane area of Ketchum.
    Crimes in Ketchum included burglary, theft and vandalism. England reported that a black Ford Explorer was stolen in Ketchum and later recovered in Hailey.
    He wrote that the suspects were identified by video surveillance at convenience stores in Hailey and Ketchum where credit or debit cards stolen earlier from vehicles were used.
    Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said Wednesday that most of the stolen items have now been recovered. Anyone with information on the crimes or looking for items that may have been stolen early Tuesday should contact Hailey police at 788-3531.

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