MESQUITE, Nev. – The Mesquite Police Department arrested a man from St. George accused of a string of burglaries from Jan. 17-19. An Arizona man also believed to be connected to the crimes was arrested in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday morning.
Mesquite was bustling with car enthusiasts attending the Mesquite Motor Mania event, players and spectators here for the UYSA Soccer Presidents Cup, and the normal flow of visitors in and out of the city. The streets were filled with traffic, no vacancy signs posted in hotels, and restaurants were filled to capacity. The Mesquite police were busier than normal with their duties, which always accompany these events.
On the evening of Jan. 17, calls related to property crimes began pouring in and continued hammering the phone lines throughout the weekend. There were 21 property related crimes ranging from multiple stolen vehicles, burglaries, property damage, merchandise thefts and even stolen bicycles, were perpetrated throughout the city. Detectives were called to process crime scenes and patrol officers were placed on high alert.
On Jan. 19, an alert patrol sergeant spotted a suspicious van near the entrance to a gated community. As the sergeant attempted to maneuver his patrol vehicle around the landscaped median, the suspicious van sped away, resulting in the driver losing control and crashing. By the time the sergeant arrived at the site of crash, the driver had fled on foot. The sergeant discovered the van had been recently reported as stolen. The crashed van was found filled with property stolen from recent burglaries. An investigation of the crash scene led detectives to multiple leads with possible suspects.
In the early morning Jan. 20, more calls reporting property crimes lit up the phone lines. Patrol officers and detectives quickly continued collecting evidence, which led to officers locating stolen property hidden throughout the city. Shortly after noon, an observant patrol officer discovered a male adult acting suspicious in a local business parking lot. The male was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle from St. George. The vehicle in his possession was filled with items that were stolen throughout the weekend from Mesquite homes and businesses.
The adult male was identified as Jeffery Paget, 21, of St. George. He was placed under arrest and charged with burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen credit cards, obtaining a credit card without consent, receiving stolen property, theft, destruction of property, grand larceny, theft from a motor vehicle and possession of methamphetamine. Additional charges against Paget relating to the crimes are pending.
Further investigation found Paget was not working alone.The Mesquite Police Department identified a second suspect as Robert Trask, 53, of Tucson, Ariz. The police confirmed that Trask was early Saturday morning by Tucson police officials. he was found in possession of a vehicle reported stolen out of Mesquite. Trask will be facing felony charges similar to those of his co-conspirator Paget for the crimes perpetrated in Mesquite.
Chief of Police Troy Tanner credits the resolution of this weekend crime spree, due to the cooperative effort between patrol officers and detectives.
“With the sheer number of cases we investigated this weekend, it takes numerous man hours from the beginning to the end to ensure justice is served and stolen property is returned to the rightful owner,” Tanner said.
Persons charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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