Man tells police he didn’t do burglary because he was on meth, not heroin, that day

St. George Police Department vehicle, St. George, Utah, undated | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A local man is in jail after allegedly kicking in the door of a residence to burglarize the home, but after encountering the resident who was home with her young daughter, he fled the area on foot.

Casey Saunders, 28, of St. George was charged Thursday with second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling and misdemeanor criminal mischief, according to a statement released by St. George Police Officer Tiffany Atkin.

The charges stem from an incident reported Dec. 17 on Donlee Drive when police responded to the woman’s 911 call. The suspect was described as a white male with dark hair, in his early 20s with “scruffy” facial hair wearing a gray hoodie and a baseball cap.

In addition to finding damage to the door and shoe impressions on it, detectives also discovered pry marks on one of the home’s windows that appeared to have been made by a tool.

The following day, officers encountered Saunders while responding to a trespassing call. They noticed he matched the physical description and was wearing clothing similar to what was described in the burglary report. His shoes had a similar tread pattern to what was found on door.

Casey Saunders, of St. George, booking photo taken Dec. 21, 2018, Washington County, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Police say they also found other stolen items on Saunders before they transported him to the St. George Police Department for an interview, where police say he denied burglarizing any homes.

When asked what he was doing Dec. 17, he told officers he “was doing drugs and was at Motel 6 for the entire day,” court records say.

Police say Saunders went on to explain that he was doing methamphetamine on the day of the burglary and that he did not typically steal when under the influence of meth, but that he “typically would burglarize while under the influence of heroin,” which he said he was not taking at that time.

Saunders was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly thereafter.

He was charged with six felonies related to the Dec. 18 trespassing call. They are two counts of second-degree felony theft and four third-degree felonies: one count of possessing/transferring/selling a firearm, two counts of unlawful acquisition of a finance card and one count of knowingly using false financial card for credit/goods.

Saunders was also charged with criminal trespass and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, which are class A misdemeanors and possession of paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, according to court documents.

Two days later, Saunders was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after police say he intentionally shattered the front window of a motel during a domestic incident.

Prior to these recent brushes with the law, Saunders was arrested July 17 and charged with second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling and third-degree felony theft, as well as a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief. He later pleaded guilty to the burglary charge, which was downgraded to a third-degree felony, and criminal mischief, while the felony theft charge was dismissed, the report said.

He was arrested July 24 for five misdemeanor drug offenses and he remained in jail on those charges until his release Sept. 24.

On Oct. 4 he was arrested and charged with felony theft and vehicle burglary, as well as misdemeanor theft and drug charges.

In November, Saunders was arrested and charged with one felony count of possession of a forgery device and multiple misdemeanor drug charges.

He remains in jail on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. in 5th District Court.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or 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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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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  • Mean Momma January 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    All these felony charges and he keeps getting let out to commit more crimes… the system is broken. I guess he’ll have to murder someone before they put him away for more than a couple of months.

  • Carpe Diem January 4, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Looks like another revolving door customer. So this is his fourth felony arrest since July— in 6 months. Wonder what day next week he gets out?
    Maybe the CCW peeps need to keep an eye out for him. The courts just let him go on his merry felonious way.

  • Comment January 4, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    he’s a good, honest, sweet, darling boy. Just got mixed up with the wrong crowd is all. /s

    In reality it may take him being shot before he learns a lesson. I don’t know what it is about these crackhead druggy types. Do they all share similar personality traits? What is it that relentlessly drives them to be such scumbags in all parts of life. I believe the drugs are only a part of the equation. Do these types just inherently come with serious character flaws or what? Is it mental illness? I truly do not know…

    • Carpe Diem January 5, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Well, I think he is a perfect example of what drug addiction can do to a person. He is sporting several meth sores on his face, but he does heroin too. And of course, he needs to rob for his dope money. Oh, and the latest had a firearm charge too. I suppose he likes to take heroin when he kicks down doors, so when he gets shot and killed he wont feel the pain.

      • Comment January 5, 2019 at 2:14 pm

        Well, it’s like “what came first, the chicken or the egg”. Was the guy a scumbag before he started using, or did the drugs turn him into a scumbag?

        I’m just not convinced that the drugs are to blame. The drugs may amplify undesirable character traits, but I’m not sure they are the root of the problem.

        • Carpe Diem January 5, 2019 at 4:39 pm

          Yes, I imagine that’s quite true and seems to be epidemic especially in larger cities. No father in their life, no spiritual life, no empathy for anyone besides themselves. I think the drugs are often started just to ease their mental pain. In the end, when they go full thug, robbing and/or hot burglaries, they end up dead or in prison.

  • LunchboxHero January 5, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    More useless junkies, stealing from honest working people. Great.

  • Happy Commenter January 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm


  • tazzman January 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    “Hello officers! No, I didn’t do that burglary. I was too busy smoked out. I usually reserve my criminal activity when I am strung out on heroin.”

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