Trespassing turns into mail theft resulting in drug, warrant arrests

St. George Police patrol vehicle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 26, 2018 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A couple was arrested when officers initially found them on private property, and then during a search found multiple pieces of mail belonging to other individuals and active warrants for one of the pair.

File photo for illustrative purposes only of St. George Police personnel responding to Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2022 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

On Monday, officers patrolling near Switchpoint noticed a couple going through the dumpster located at the Switchpoint Thrift Store located across the street from the care facility. The owner of the property requested that anyone found going through the dumpster or on the property be cited for trespassing. The receptacles are marked with “no trespassing” signs and it had become a problem, according to the probable cause statements filed in support of the arrests.

The officer approached the man, who identified himself as 29-year-old Rene Pintor, telling the officer he was unable to locate his state-issued identification at the time. The woman Pintor was with was identified as Stephanie Bell.

Pintor was taken into custody after a background check revealed two outstanding warrants for his arrest, one of which was a felony warrant issued out of 5th District Court, and during a search of the suspect’s belongings, officers reportedly found syringes in a backpack.

During a search of the bags the couple had with them, officers reportedly found several paraphernalia-related items, which Pintor stated were his, according to the report, and in a small backpack officers located more paraphernalia and several pieces of mail belonging to different individuals, noting that Bells’ personal identification was hand-written on one of the envelopes.

As the search continued, officers recovered a piece of mail that did not belong to either suspect, with Bell’s personal identifying information written on the envelope.

When asked, both suspects gave conflicting statements as to why the mail was in their bags, “but both acknowledged that they did not have a reason to possess the mail,” the officer noted in the report.

Bell was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia and mail theft.

In this 2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only officers from St. George and Washington City respond to Main Street during an arrest in St. George, Utah, Nov. 4, 2020 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Pintor was arrested for third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, a charge that was enhanced due to prior drug convictions, as well as a probation violation after Pintor told officers he had “not appeared for a long time for a meeting with his agent.”

Both parties were subsequently transported to jail in Washington County and booked on multiple charges.

Pintor was also booked on the arrest warrants, including two warrants, one issued on a second-degree felony theft case filed in March of last year.

The other warrant Pintor was arrested on involved a felony assault case filed in January of last year, after officers responded to a welfare check call involving Bell, who was reportedly the suspect’s girlfriend at the time.

Following Monday’s arrest, Pintor and Bell were each charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and mail theft of more than 10 individuals, along with criminal trespass and possession of paraphernalia, each a misdemeanor.

This report is based on statements from court records, 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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