One hit, one run: Police catch three on errors
A Friday afternoon hit and run accident led to the arrest of three suspects on charges of burglary and possession of stolen property. As a result of the investigation Prescott Valley police are encouraging residents, particularly those of Prescott Country Club, to call the department if they think they may be victims of recent mail theft.
Shortly after a Friday, Feb. 15 12:30 p.m. hit and run accident in Prescott, Prescott Valley police received a call from the owner of the suspect vehicle, 18-year-old David Bennett Bills of Long Beach, California. Bills told police his pickup truck had been stolen from a Prescott Valley grocery store parking lot.
PVPD Detective Ed Bills said he was suspicious of David Bills' report because it came after the hit and run.
Meanwhile, Prescott police located the hit-and-run vehicle, in which they also discovered a checkbook reported stolen in a PCC vehicle burglary the night before, and a shotgun apparently taken in another PV burglary.
"It gets complicated because we think this guy stole stolen stuff from the burglars," Detective Bills said.
Detective Bills said that, when he went to the Truwood residence of 18-year-old PV resident DJ Knight where David Bills was staying, he found more stolen shotguns and golf clubs and "several garbage sacks of mail" apparently taken from PCC and PV mailboxes.
"We're going to get the US Postal Service involved in the mail thefts," Detective Bills said. "They didn't say so, but I know these guys were going through mail, looking for those blank checks credit card companies send people, personal checks to alter, and checkbook refills sent out by banks."
Detective Bills said police may also bring charges of identity theft against the suspects because police believe the suspects intended to use victims' bank account and Social Security numbers.
Officers arrested David Bills and Knight, charged them with burglary and possession of stolen property, and booked them into YCSO jail. Police also referred an involved 17-year-old Dewey juvenile to juvenile authorities.
"There may be mail theft victims who do not realize that their mail may have been removed by these suspects," said PVPD Lt. P.J. Janik. "Most of these mail thefts occurred in the Dewey Prescott Country Club area."
Janik said residents who think they may be missing mail should call PV police detectives at 772-9261.