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Tue, Oct. 15

Police arrest four in area mail thefts<BR>

Information from the Pres-cott Police Department led Prescott Valley police to arrest four people Oct. 17 on mail theft charges after a search of a Hedgewood Drive residence turned up about 50 pieces of stolen mail.

"There was a lot of junk mail, but there was also a lot of checks and credit card stuff," said PVPD spokesman Lt. P.J. Janik.

Officers charged 20-year-old PV resident Bethany Nelson with fraud and possession of dangerous drugs; PV resident Michell Middleton, 20, with fraudulent schemes; Chino Valley resident Jason Ellis, 27, with theft and fraud; and Chino Valley resident Denell Richins, 20, with fraud and theft.

Police booked all four into the YCSO jail.

Janik said much of the mail apparently came from mailboxes on the north end of town, including some County areas outside Prescott Valley town limits. Janik asks residents who believe they may be victims of recent mail theft to call PVPD at 772-9261.

In other police news:

• Prescott Valley police arrested two men this past week on multiple burglary charges after the son of a business owner spotted his customer's stolen auto parts on one of the suspects' vehicles.

PVPD Detective Sgt. Bill Fessler said several Prescott Valley auto repair businesses had suffered about a dozen thefts from customers' vehicles over a three-week period.

"It was everything related to auto parts – intake manifolds, alternators, radiators, dashboards, steering columns," Fessler said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the son of one of the victim business owners spotted a Chevy Blazer towing a second vehicle into the Blue Hills Market parking lot. The son recognized parts on the towed vehicle as being stolen from a customer's vehicle, and he called police. Detectives traced the vehicles to an address on Robin Drive. There, they found the towed vehicle and arrested and charged Prescott Valley residents Brandon Randall and Jeremy Phillips, both 18, with three counts of burglary, three counts of felony theft, and two counts of criminal damage, and booked them into the Yavapai County jail.

"Apparently, they were stealing the parts to refurbish one of their own vehicles," Fessler said.

• Police believe three business burglaries over the weekend may be the work of the same individuals.

"There is very similar damage and method of entry at all three businesses," Janik said. "They all occurred late Saturday night or early Sunday morning."

Thieves cut phone lines and smashed a window to gain entrance to Grand Rental Station on Valley Road, where they stole the cash register and a pickup truck and trailer. Thieves smashed a window at Tri-City Computers and stole two computers. Mingus Motors also suffered a smashed window, and trespassers also disabled electrical service to the building, but police did not release details of any thefts at the used car dealership.

"It's still under investigation," Janik said. "We're working on some suspects right now."

Janik described the pickup truck stolen from Grand Rental Station as a white 2000 Chevrolet 3/4-ton with an over-cab rack and Arizona plates, 082ETY. Police ask anyone with information to call PVPD at 772-9261.

• A minor injury accident stopped Highway 69 rush hour traffic this past Thursday morning when a passenger car rear-ended a small pickup near the Stoneridge Drive intersection. The force of the collision flipped the pickup over onto its roof.

The driver, a 53-year-old Prescott man, went to Yavapai Regional Medical Center, where doctors released him a short time later. The 18-year-old Humboldt woman driving the car accepted treatment at the scene.

The accident blocked the entire westbound lane of Highway 69 for about an hour. Police diverted traffic down side streets until completing their investigation and cleanup of the scene.

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