Deputies search for whoever set donation sheds on fire behind Kuna-area church

Kuna police are looking for two teens seen running away from a fire behind the LDS church at 315 E. Deer Flat Road early Sunday morning.

The fire destroyed two storage units behind the church, which were full of donated items for the Deseret Industries Thrift Store. The damage in lost items and the buildings themselves is estimated to be over $23,000.

Ada County dispatchers got a 911 call around 4 a.m. from an 18-year-old man playing Pokemon Go in the parking lot of the church, who reported first hearing sounds behind the church and then seeing what looked like two teenagers running away.

The man told dispatchers he then saw the light of a fire from behind the building, so he drove over, and saw the storage buildings on fire, and called 911.

Kuna police and Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrived moments later but were not able to find anyone resembling the description of the suspects anywhere in the area.

Kuna Fire crews extinguished the fire, which destroyed both storage units.

Detectives are investigating the case. Anyone with information should call Kuna Police at 577-3860.

Detectives investigate fireworks-caused blaze near Table Rock

Ada County Sheriff’s detectives are working to find whoever shot fireworks into the Foothills off Table Rock Road just before midnight Wednesday — a decision that led to a range fire that destroyed one home and put dozens of others at risk.

By Thursday afternoon, the fire had burned over 2600 acres in the desert surrounding Table Rock Road. Boise Fire and Bureau of Land Management crews were able to stop the spread of the blaze overnight. The fire did consume one home on Pheasant Lane and an outbuilding nearby.

Ada County 911 Dispatchers received numerous reports of people lighting off fireworks near Table Rock Road before the hillside caught fire just before midnight.

ACSO detectives determined the fire ignited off the north side of Table Rock Road right by the gate that goes across the road near the top of the plateau.

TR fire start site

Detectives are currently investigating numerous leads. Anyone with information should call detectives at 577-3723 or email at cau@adaweb.net

It is illegal to light off fireworks in the Ada County Foothills. Anyone who violates the Ada County fireworks ordinance (https://adacounty.id.gov/Home/ArticleID/1824/Ada-County-Bans-Fireworks) is be guilty of a misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

14-year-old Kuna boy steals family car and crashes into a home across town

It’s very fortunate that the people who live at 1196 W. Gold Street in Kuna are OK after a 14-year-old boy drove a stolen car into the front of their house early Wednesday morning.

The boy is being treated at a local hospital for what appear to be minor injuries.

Kuna police were called to the Gold Street home just after 9 a.m. when they got a 911 call from a resident reporting that a car just smashed into the front of their house. The caller said they couldn’t open the front door to see if anyone in the car was injured.

Kunacrash

Dispatchers got another 911 call moments later from a house on nearby Marteeson Avenue, where a woman said she saw a teenage boy wandering outside who had some injuries, so she brought him inside.

Officers were able to quickly put together what happened.

The boy, who is developmentally disabled, took his family’s car without permission and drove about six miles across town before he lost control and drove into the home on Gold Street.

When the boy couldn’t back the damaged car out of the wreckage, he got out and ran away. The boy was barefoot, so he had some minor injuries to his feet when the woman on Marteeson Avenue saw him and asked him to come in so she could help him.

Paramedics took the boy to a local hospital as a precaution.

No one in the house on Gold Street was in the front of the house when the car smashed into it so they were able to avoid injury.

Officers are not sure why the boy was driving by Gold Street or what  happened to cause him to lose control of the car.

The crash is still under investigation and no charges or citations have been filed at this time.

Two teenage boys busted for breaking into unlocked cars in Star early Sunday

Star and Eagle police detectives are investigating if two teenage boys caught breaking into unlocked cars in Star early Sunday morning could be responsible for dozens of similar burglaries.

The boys, ages 16 and 17, admitted to breaking into at least 10-to-15 unlocked cars in Star and as many as two dozen others in Eagle earlier this spring.

Officers caught the boys just before 3 a.m. Sunday after a resident in the neighborhood just north of the Can Ada Road/State Street intersection heard someone close a car door in his driveway. The man looked outside and saw three people standing by his car.

The man then saw those same three people open other car doors in the neighborhood. He went outside to confront the burglars. They dropped a backpack on the ground and ran away. The man called Ada County dispatchers to report what happened.

An Ada County Sheriff’s deputy responding to the call spotted two teenage boys walking on N. Paddington Way, which is less than a half-mile away from where the first call came from, moments later.

The boys ran away when they saw the deputy drive up. The deputy jumped out of his patrol car, started running after the boys, and ordered them to stop — which they did moments later.

As the deputy took the boys into custody and started interviewing them, another deputy grabbed the backpack and went through it, finding items like gloves, phone chargers, change, sunglasses, food, and cigarettes which had been swiped from cars.

By later that morning, nine people in that neighborhood reported their cars had been broken into overnight.

Detectives interviewed the boys and released them to their parents. Deputies have identified the third boy involved but haven’t found him yet.

All three boys will charged after Ada County juvenile prosecutors review the case. Several of the items found in the backpack were returned to the people who had their cars broken-in to.

If there is one concept we here at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like our residents to embrace above all others, it would be: lock your stuff up.

The best way to avoid being a victim of theft is to make sure your homes and vehicles are locked all the time.

There have been numerous cases over the years of people “jockeyboxing” – which means they walk through neighborhoods and check to see if cars and trucks are locked. If they are not, thieves then go through and steal anything of value.

While the busiest times for vehicle burglaries across Ada County are in spring months of March and April, we also get a lot of reports in the beginning of summer.

So please remember to lock your cars, trucks — and doors to your home and garage areas.

Kuna man convicted of sexual battery and lewd conduct charges could spend up to 12 years in prison

A 25-year-old Kuna man who admitted to having illegal sexual contact with three teenage girls since last summer will be evaluated in an Idaho Department of Correction program to see if he will go to prison.

Jakob Moench found out Wednesday he could spend up to 12 years in prison for a count of lewd conduct and two counts of sexual battery of a child between the ages of 16-to-17.

Fourth District Judge Patrick Owen sentenced Moench to three concurrent 12-year prison terms.

Owen placed Moench on a retained jurisdiction program — commonly known as a “rider” — which is an Idaho Department of Correction evaluation program that can last up to one year. When that is done, it will be up to Owen to figure out if Moench will serve a prison sentence or be placed on probation.

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies began their investigation in mid January after getting information from a third party that Moench had illegal sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl.

A few days later, the girl was reported missing as a runaway. Kuna Police found her at Moench’s house and took her home.

Detectives continued to develop evidence in the case and arrested Moench days later.

Shortly after Moench’s picture appeared on the Ada County Sheriff’s Office arrest page in January, a family member of a different girl called deputies to report a similar occurrence. Then a third victim came forward.

Moench eventually pleaded guilty to lewd conduct and sexual battery charges in March.

If Moench ends up going to prison, he must serve at least three years before he can ask for parole.

Star neighborhood latest to be hit by opportunistic car burglars

At least three people who left their cars unlocked in Star Monday night woke up to find items missing from inside.

If there is one concept we here at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like our residents to embrace above all others, it would be: lock your stuff up.

The best way to avoid being a victim of theft is to make sure your homes and vehicles are locked all the time.

People who live in the neighborhood south of Floating Feather and Star roads — on Union Way, Cottage Cove Way, and Rose Lake Street — had items taken from unlocked cars, including sunglasses, cash, a digital camera, and bluetooth headset between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

There have been numerous cases over the years of people “jockeyboxing” – which means they walk through neighborhoods and check to see if cars and trucks are locked. If they are not, thieves then go through and steal anything of value.

While the busiest times for vehicle burglaries across Ada County are in spring months of March and April, we also get a lot of reports in the beginning of summer.

So please remember to lock your cars, trucks — and doors to your home and garage areas.

22-year-old Boise man charged with felony vehicular manslaughter

Wesley Swann was under the influence of methamphetamine when he crashed his motorcycle on Lake Hazel Road last fall — a crash that resulted in the death of a 21-year-old woman riding on the back.

Deputies arrested the 22-year-old Swann on a felony charge of vehicular manslaughter Wednesday afternoon at his workplace.

Swann is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $75,000 bond. He is set to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon.

Swann was driving his 1988 Honda motorcycle eastbound on Lake Hazel Road, near Starstruck Avenue, just after 8 a.m. on Sept. 2 when he lost control of the bike on a curve.

The motorcycle went off the road and hit a tree. The force of the impact killed 21-year-old Joslyn Johnson, who was riding on the back of the bike. Swann was thrown from the motorcycle and landed on a pile of river rocks.

Johnson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Swann did not have a helmet on.

Evidence tests revealed later that Swann had meth in his system at the time of the crash.

Ada County prosecutors activated the arrest warrant for Swann early Wednesday morning. Members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office ACTION team arrested him a short time later.

The crime of felony vehicular manslaughter is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Detectives looking for 37-year-old Caldwell man wanted on child pornography charge who is traveling with three young children

Investigators with the Caldwell Police and Ada County Sheriff’s Office continue to look for Jason “Travis” Simon, who has an active arrest warrant for a charge of sex abuse of a child.

Investigators suspect Simon is trying to avoid arrest and could be camping in the Sweet, Ola, or Valley County areas with his girlfriend, Sarah Joy VanOcker-Dunn, and her three children, who are between the ages of 10 and 6 years-old.

VanOcker-Dunn now has an active arrest warrant for a felony charge of custodial interference filed in connection with the couple’s now week-long departure from the Treasure Valley. Investigators say VanOcker-Dunn’s may now be died bright red.

Investigators have received dozens of tips and continue to follow leads in the case but have not yet found the couple or the kids.

Simon 1

Our detectives began investigating the case last week when they were contacted by a third party about Simon who provided evidence Simon was creating child pornography.

The investigation led detectives to the couple’s home in Caldwell area to serve a search warrant late last week. It appears Simon and VanOcker-Dunn figured out detectives from the ACSO and Caldwell Police were looking for Simon so the couple left with the three small children.

Simon, VanOcker-Dunn, and the three kids were last seen in the Emmett the afternoon of June 2 — and are known to have had camping gear with them.

They are likely driving VanOcker-Dunn’s gold 2006 Pontiac Montana sports utility vehicle. The license plate reads 2CJN683.

We are asking anyone who has seen Simon, VanOcker-Dunn, or the children or has any information on the case to call Ada County Sheriff’s detectives at 577-3734 or send an email to cau@adaweb.net

 

A 40-year-old Boise woman and her three kids died after SUV crashes into Lucky Peak

Ada County Sheriff’s Deputies are working to figure out why 40-year-old Noel J. Bankhead drove her SUV over a cliff and into Lucky Peak Thursday morning.

The crash killed the woman and three children inside the Land Rover – girls Anika and Gwyneth Voermans, ages 13 and 8, and 11-year-old boy Logan Voermans.

The SUV went under about 40 feet of water before it hit the bottom.

Divers with the Boise Fire Department recovered the bodies of the three kids from the water Thursday morning. They could not remove the body of the woman, who was trapped inside the badly damaged SUV.

Members of the ACSO dive team were able to float the SUV to the surface and get it out of the water by late Thursday afternoon.

Fatal 1

Deputies began their investigation just before 7 a.m. when 911 dispatchers got a call reporting that an SUV just drove off the cliff, just north of the Idaho 21 long bridge, and into the water.

Deputies arrived moments later and saw an oil slick and debris on the surface of the water. The Boise Fire Department Dive Team arrived a short time later and found the SUV and the bodies underwater.

The drop between the top of the cliff and the water is an estimated 50 to 70 feet. The force of the impact crushed the top half of the SUV.

Fatal 3

Deputies are still trying to determine if Noel Bankhead was driving north or south on Idaho 21 before pulling off on to E. Spring Shores Road.

A witness told investigators they saw the SUV accelerate from the side of the road to go over the cliff. Deputies found no skid or brake marks where the SUV went over the edge.

Fatal 2

It took several hours for the dive team to recover the wreckage of the SUV from the water. Boise Fire crews had to cut through the smashed metal so they could get the woman out

Investigators will now go through the wreckage and do more evidence tests to see if there were any mechanical problems with the SUV.

Fatal 4

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s office listed the cause of death for the Voermans as drowning associated with blunt force trauma from the impact of the SUV hitting the water.

The manner of death is still under investigation. The results of forensic tests from Noel Bankhead’s autopsy will be part of deputies’ investigation into the crash.

Members of the ACSO Victim Witness Coordinator’s team are working to provide support to the family members of the woman and her kids.

Deputies seize 10 pounds of meth during traffic stop on I-84 Saturday morning

Deputies arrested a Boise duo for drug trafficking after finding eight large packages of methamphetamine in their SUV Saturday morning.

James L. Dorsey and Brandy C. Grenicko are charged with felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine.

The 59-year-old Dorsey and 41-year-old Grenicko are being held in the Ada County Jail and are set to make their initial court appearances Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies pulled over a black Nissan Pathfinder for speeding on the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 near the Blacks Creek Road exit just after 10 a.m. Saturday. The Nissan was recorded going 90 mph and failed to stay in the lane of travel before deputies pulled it over.

It was during the traffic stop when deputies determined Grenicko was on parole for a conviction for possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver from 2012.

The deputy who pulled the SUV over is a K9 officer, so he got the dog out to sniff around the car. K9 dog Hondo detected drugs at two different places in the SUV.

Deputies found eight large packages of methamphetamine inside a backpack in the back of the SUV, several meth pipes in the front, and a loaded handgun inside a suitcase.

Deputies arrested Dorsey and Grenicko and booked them into the Ada County Jail.

The crime of trafficking methamphetamine is punishable by up to life in prison.