Teens arrested on burglary charges, woman with removing evidence
Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies arrested a woman and two teenagers last week in connection with a string of burglaries in the Bridgeport area.
A deputy booked Rhonda Norris, 35, of Bridgeport into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on charges of hindering prosecution and removing physical evidence.
A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were booked into juvenile detention on charges of five counts of burglary of a vehicle, two counts of theft of a means of transportation, burglary of a business, possession of burglary tools, felony criminal damage and theft. The 15-year-old was also charged with one count of destruction of evidence.
On April 14, a deputy answered a vandalism call in the 4400 block of Purple Sage Trail and spoke with Norris, who said the 16-year-old boy had vandalized her daughter's car after an argument with her son, the 15-year-old.
Norris told the deputy that the 16-year-old boy previously complained to her that her son brought a firearm into his home, and his family did not want him over anymore, but Norris said she did not believe that, said Dwight D'Evelyn, spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies contacted the 16-year-old and his siblings who told them the other boy recently brought a silver 9mm handgun with live rounds into their home and played with it in front of them.
One of the family members had seen the weapon in the 15-year-old's room when he took it out of a lockbox to play with it, D'Evelyn said.
The deputies recalled a recent vehicle burglary about a block away on Bridle Path Road in which a handgun was stolen that matched the description of the gun the 15-year-old had. Deputies spoke with the 15-year-old about the gun and searched his room, found the lock box, but no gun.
Deputies saw a unique sword in the room the boy told him the 16-year-old boy had given him and shoes with a sole pattern matching a shoeprint from a recent car theft case, D'Evelyn said.
Deputies checked the outside of the boy's home but did not find the handgun. Deputies saw his shoe prints in the backyard, which indicated he had left the yard recently and immediately returned, possibly in an attempt to conceal the firearm elsewhere, D'Evelyn said.
The next day, deputies spoke with the 15-year-old boy about evidence of his involvement in the vehicle theft, and he admitted to stealing vehicles and committing area burglaries with the 16-year-old boy.
The 15-year-old also told deputies that he and Norris had driven up to Mingus Mountain after speaking with deputies and dumped the silver colored handgun along with other evidence, D'Evelyn said. Deputies then arrested the 15-year-old boy.
Deputies arrested Norris at her workplace, and she and her son directed deputies to where they dumped the stolen gun, burglary tools and other stolen property, D'Evelyn said.
On April 16, deputies spoke with the 16-year-old boy, found evidence linking him to the crime series and arrested him, D'Evelyn said.
Deputies learned both suspects had burglarized a nearby market on several occasions after stealing store keys from a vehicle parked nearby. The stolen sword was later found in a nearby trashcan, D'Evelyn said.
The boys also ellegedly stole a red Nissan pick-up from a home in the 4400 block of Zalesky Road in Cottonwood in February, and a blue Dodge Durango from a home in the 4000 block of Bride Path Road in Bridgeport earlier this month.
The investigation linking the boys to additional crimes continues and anyone with more information is asked to call YCSO or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1 (800) 932-3232.