Deputies investigate theft of dozens of campaign signs

It appears Ada County may have a non-partisan political sign stealer in Districts 15 and 16. Idaho House candidates Steve Berch and James Silsby report having numerous signs grabbed up Nov. 3, 4, and 5.

Berch, a Democrat, lost to Republican Lynn Luker in District 15.  Silsby, a Republican, lost to Democrat Hy Kloc in District 16.

Both men checked with the Ada County Highway District and Idaho Transportation Department but employees with each agency said they did not take the signs. The candidates also checked with local plastic recycling companies, but no one brought the signs there either.

Both men are now out hundreds of dollars worth of signage.

Berch posted campaign signs along major roads in District 15, including Fairview Avenue, Five Mile Road, Milwaukee Street, and Franklin Road.

Someone took dozens of the plastic signs the night of Nov. 4 but left the metal stakes behind. Berch wasn’t sure how many of the signs were missing but estimated the cost was in excess of $500.

Silsby said he had over 100 signs taken from Nov. 3 to 5. District 16 covers much of northwest Boise and Garden City, including large portions of Chinden Boulevard, State Street, and Glenwood Street, and Veterans Memorial Parkway. Silsby also says he is out over $500 for the cost of those signs.

Candidates must remove political signs from the public right-of-way 48 hours after the election is over. All the signs in question were taken before that time was up.

For more information about where and when political signs are  allowed to be in the public right-of-way, go to http://www.achdidaho.org/GC/PoliticalCampaignSignOrdinance.aspx.

Anyone with information should call Ada County dispatch at 377-6790.

18-year-old Boise man arrested for coercing teen girl into sending him nude photos

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested an 18-year-old Boise man who posed as someone else online to coerce a teenage girl into sending him nude photos last month.

Michael Anthony Hall is charged with three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child and a charge of theft by extortion in connection with the case.

ACSO deputies began their investigation Oct. 2 after getting a report about telephone harassment — how someone unknown to the girl told her he would put embarrassing information about her on the Internet unless she sent him nude photos.

The teen eventually did send some photos after getting scared by the threats the unknown person was making. The girl told her parents a short time later about what was going on, and they contacted deputies.

Detectives later determined that the messages came from Hall, who knew the girl but used a cell phone application that made it look like text messages came from a different phone number.

Ada County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant on the four felonies for Hall Wednesday. He turned himself  in at the Ada County Jail Thursday afternoon, where he is being held on a $250,000 bond.

The crime of felony sexual exploitation of a child is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Anyone convicted of that charge would also have to register as a sex offender.

Hall will make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

Victim witness coordinators with the ACSO are providing support for the girl and her family as part of the investigation.

Detectives continue to investigate road rage/shooting case

Detectives are still investigating what led to a 55-year-old man being shot in the leg Wednesday night at a drug store parking lot near southwest Boise.

It appears the shooting was the result of a traffic dispute between people in two different pickup trucks.

Detectives continue to collect evidence and talk to witnesses about what happened. No charging decisions are expected today.

Witnesses say the incident began in traffic on Lake Hazel Road, near the Five Mile Road intersection, around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Traffic was backed up in the area at the time.

The 55-year-old man says he was driving west on Lake Hazel when he was cut off by the driver of the other truck and had to swerve out of the way.

Witnesses say the drivers began yelling at each other a short time later through open windows after they arrived at the Five Mile/Lake Hazel intersection.

That’s when both trucks pulled into the parking lot of the drug store.

The drivers continued to have a verbal dispute when the 55-year-old man got out of his truck and walked up to the open window of the other truck, where he continued arguing with the 48-year-old driver.

It appears that verbal argument continued for a while before a 23-year-old man, who was a passenger in the pickup, got out with a handgun and walked over to where the 55-year-old man was.

They had a verbal confrontation for a short time before the 23-year-old shot the 55-year-old man in the leg as that man moved towards him.

The 55-year-old man was transported to a local hospital for what appear to be non life-threatening injuries. He was still in the hospital Thursday.

Detectives say it could take several days or longer to sort out the evidence in the case and send the report to  Ada County prosecutors, who will ultimately make any charging decisions.

Eagle Police identify driver who knocked over light pole in the Brookwood subdivision

Police cited 94-year-old Robert Halliday for driving too fast for conditions in connection with the crash.

Officers are still investigating what happened and could add a charge for leaving the scene and not reporting the damage.

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The crash occurred just before 3 p.m. Monday near the Old Barn Drive/Creekfield Place intersection just east of Eagle Road.

A witness saw a gold or champagne-colored sedan drive into the post and knock it down. The driver — who the witness described as “elderly” — then kept going. The witness didn’t know who the driver was but tell Eagle Police about what happened.

That information and some photos went out over the ACSO Twitter account and local media outlets. Eagle Police eventually identified Halliday as the driver after an acquaintance of his saw a report on the news Tuesday morning about what happened.

Eagle Police looking for driver of a red pickup in connection with suspicious event during track meet Saturday

A 14-year-old Washington boy who was participating in a cross-country event near Eagle Island State Park Saturday and was running alone says a man in a red pickup truck offered to give him a ride back to the meet but instead drove away from the park when the boy got inside.

The boy told deputies the man told him to shut up when he asked why they were driving away from the park — and moments later reached in the back seat, grabbed the teen’s cell phone, and threw it out the window on Chinden Boulevard near the Linder Road intersection.

The boy eventually jumped out of the truck when it turned into the Banbury subdivision and ran away.

The boy described the truck as being newer model, full-size four-door red pickup, either a Ford or Dodge, with a metal tool box and silver running boards. The male adult driver was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. The boy said the driver was between 30-to-40 years old, had close-cropped hair, and a scruffy beard.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The boy told detectives had finished his cross-country event and was doing a cool-down run by himself on Hatchery Road when the driver of the red pickup pulled up and offered him a ride back to the meet.

It looks like the driver of the truck went south on Linder, away from the park, turned east on Chinden, and then drove short distance before turning into the Banbury neighborhood before Eagle Road.

The boy said he was in the back seat of the double-cab truck and was able to unlock the door and jump out as the truck was only going about 15 mph on the icy roads.

The boy said he ran around the neighborhood before seeing a resident standing outside their home on Stafford Drive. He told them what happened and asked to use a phone.

The boy was reunited with a parent at the meet a short time later.

The boy said the driver did not say much other than to tell him to shut up. Deputies are still looking for the boy’s phone.

Anyone with information on what happened should call Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.

Three teenage boys connected to case of badly vandalized home in Star

A group of 13-year-old boys appear to be at least partially responsible for more than $15,000 worth of damage to an unoccupied home in Star last month.

Sometime between Oct. 14 and Oct. 19, someone entered into a home in the Star Road/State Street neighborhood and damaged sheetrock, spray-painted the walls, broke out windows, burned the carpet, and left trash inside a home that was unoccupied at the time.

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The homeowner discovered the damage and called Star Police on Oct. 20. Officers found widespread damage throughout the home. Appliances were spray-painted.  A sliding glass door was broken.  Most of the rooms had holes in the sheetrock. Deputies also found plastic water bottles that had been turned into marijuana pipes.

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A short time after officers began collecting evidence and doing interviews they identified a group of thee 13-year-old boys who lived in the area as suspects. All the boys admitted to being inside the home when it was vandalized.

Ada County Juvenile prosecutors will review the evidence and decide if charges like burglary and malicious injury to property will be filed against the teens.  Charges are also possible against other teens if it is determined they were in the house when the vandalism occurred.

42-year-old Boise man arrested for harassing Iraqi students near Lucky Peak

A 42-year-old Boise man who physically and verbally harassed a group of Iraqi students at a scenic overlook by Lucky Peak earlier this month is charged with a felony count of malicious harassment.

Brian Gail Olson will make his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred on Oct. 4. A group of students from Iraq (ages 16,17,18, 19, and 20) were parked by the scenic overlook on Idaho 21, just south of the More’s Creek Bridge, around 6 p.m., checking out the view, listening to music, and taking some pictures.

A pickup truck, driven by Olson with three other men inside, pulled up to the teens. Olson got out of his truck and began yelling cultural epithets at the teens. At one point, Olson knocked a can of soda out of the 16-year-old boys’s hand, which then spilled on his clothes. Around that same time, Olson ripped a necklace off the boy’s neck.

Olson also grabbed the 20-year-old by the collar and yelled in his face, asking the student if he could swim, referring to the river far below. He yelled at all five teens during the incident.

Olson then went into the student’s car and started rummaging around. He came out with a soccer ball that he then threw into the road. One of the students said Olson spit at him. They also said Olson smelled strongly of alcohol and saw several empty beer cans fall out of the truck when he got out.

The students took some pictures with their cell phones and got the license number of the truck as Oslon and the other men drove away.

The teens reported what happened a few days later to a school resource officer at their Boise-area high school, who contacted the ACSO when they figured where the incident occurred.

Detectives then took over the case, interviewing all the students again and collecting evidence. Detectives eventually tracked down Olson Tuesday and interviewed him.

That’s when they arrested Olson and booked him into the Ada County Jail.

Detectives are still working to identify the other men in the truck with Olson. Anyone with information should call Det. Matt Buie at 577-3738.

In addition to the felony malicious harassment charge, Olson is cited for misdemeanor charges of littering, unlawful entry, and driving with out a valid license.

The crime of malicious harassment is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Idaho code defines felony malicious harassment (18-7902)  as:

“It shall be unlawful for any person, maliciously and with the specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin, to:

(a) Cause physical injury to another person; or

(b) Damage, destroy, or deface any real or personal property of another person; or

(c) Threaten, by word or act, to do the acts prohibited if there is reasonable cause to believe that any of the acts described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section will occur.

For purposes of this section, “deface” shall include, but not be limited to, cross-burnings or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious or ethnic terrorism on the property of another person without his or her permission.”

ACSO deputies help get family out of burning home

A pair of Ada County Sheriff’s Office jail deputies working on the transport team helped get a family out of a burning home in Boise Tuesday morning.

Deputies Billy Fikes and Dan Allen had just stopped at the Jackson’s at 897 Cole Road to get a cup of coffee when they noticed smoke coming from a house at the Cole Road/Ashland Drive intersection around 7:15 a.m.

Fikes and Allen rushed over to the house and called Ada County dispatchers over the radio as soon as they confirmed it was a house fire. The front door of the home was open and deputies could see smoke, so they went inside to get the residents out.

Once inside, they found a man and woman. The man was filling something up with water. That’s when the deputies encountered a language barrier, as it appeared the adults did not understand what the deputies were telling them.

Deputies also found a young boy inside, and they were able to talk to him. The deputies and the child were able to quickly convince the adults to get out of the home — just Boise Fire crews arrived.

“It appeared (the man and woman) didn’t know how bad the fire was, but we could tell from being outside and seeing all the smoke pour out (of the house),” Allen said. “Once we all got out, we could see the garage door begin to melt.”

Boise Fire crews arrived and quickly called for a second alarm. It appears the fire started in the garage area. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to the garage area and keep it from spreading to the rest of that house and neighbors.

Dispatch records show the radio call from deputies Allen and Fikes was the first report of the blaze.

Thanks to public for helping us find woman using stolen credit cards

Thanks to public input, deputies have identified a woman caught using credit cards stolen from inside three cars in Eagle late last month.

Those people who had their cars broken into and wallets or purses stolen since Sept. 22 got reports that someone used their stolen credit or bank cards.

We put out a picture of a woman seen using those cards at local stores on social media sites and pretty soon we had enough info that we are able to identify her. Detectives tracker her down and  interviewed her. Charges against her are pending.

We’d just like to say thank you so much to everyone who helped in this case.

Here’s a picture of the woman using stolen cards local retailers earlier this month.

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All three car burglaries appear to be crimes of opportunity.

On Sept. 22, a resident of in the Eagle/Beacon Light roads neighborhood forgot to lock her truck while it was in the driveway of her home that night. When she went out to her car in the morning, she discovered her wallet was missing.

On Oct. 1, it appears someone went into an open garage in the Floating Feather Road/Ballantyne Lane neighborhood overnight and took a purse left inside a car.

The third break in happened on Oct. 7 in the Island Woods subdivision west of Eagle Road. Someone broke into an unlocked car overnight and swiped a backpack that had credit cards inside.

The best way to avoid being a victim of a crime like this is to lock your car every time you get out of it, no matter where it is. It’s also an excellent idea to never leave purses, wallets, or anything else that holds financial transaction cards in a car whether it’s locked or not.

Boise man charged with arson in connection with Hill Road house fire

A 34-year-old man found walking away from a house fire on Hill Road Thursday night — wearing clothes with burn marks and that smelled like petroleum — is charged with first degree arson.

Patrick Sean Irving is being held in the Ada County Jail.

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies, Boise police, and Boise Fire investigators are determining if Irving is involved in the two other house fires in the 6700 block Hill Road since Tuesday.

There is evidence at least two of the fires — at 6720 Hill Road — were lit on purpose. Boise Fire investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire which gutted the house next door earlier this week.

Fire crews were sent to 6720 Hill Road just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday after getting 911 calls about a house fire.

It was the second time fire crews went to that address Thursday, as someone tried to set the same home on fire around 1:30 a.m. the night before.

For the first call, the people who lived at the home were able to put the fire out before it spread. On Thursday night, they were able to do that again with the assistance of Boise fire crews.

Fire crews on their way to the home Thursday night saw a man walking away from the fire, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans, on Hill Road headed towards Gary Lane. They called that description into Ada County dispatch.

A Garden City Police officer found the man – later identified as Irving — walking on Hill Road moments later.

It was during that interaction where officers detected the strong odor of petroleum and saw Irving’s clothes had burns. Detectives interviewed Irving before arresting him and booking into the jail.

Law enforcement’s interaction with Irving began last week.

Boise Police arrested Irving on Oct. 17 for trespassing at a vacant home at 6700 Hill Road. Irving was booked into the jail on a misdemeanor charge of unlawful entry. He posted the $300 bond and was released later that day.

Boise Fire crews were sent to the same home at 6700 Hill Road just before 6 a.m. Tuesday. That home was actively burning when crews arrived. Crews put out the blaze but vacant home was badly damaged. Fire officials have not yet determined the cause but do know it started in the living room.

The next fire call came for the home next door, at 6720 Hill Road, just before 1:30 a.m. Thursday. It appears someone set up a pile of debris next to the garage door and set it on fire.

The next call came just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

People called 911 reported a fire and hearing shots.

It was later determined that a resident of the home fired a warning shot into the ground to scare away whoever tried to light the house on fire.

Irving will make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.

The crime of first degree arson is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.