Action Team deputies catch trailhead car burglars in the act

Deputies arrested two Boise men moments after they broke into a parked car and stole a purse at the Seaman Gulch Trailhead Thursday afternoon.

The duo are suspected of doing at least a half-dozen similar “smash and grab” burglaries at trailheads all over the Treasure Valley since the beginning of the year.

For now, 45-year-old Paul A. Sublet and 24-year-old Benjamin A. Hinote are both charged with single felony counts of burglary in connection with Thursday’s incident.

Additional burglary charges for the other break-ins will be filed at a later time.

Deputies have evidence Sublet and Hinote have been smashing windows of cars at trailheads and taking purses, backpacks, and other items of value when no else is around.

All the burglaries were done the same way. Someone smashed a car window to get into a locked car while the owners were hiking nearby. All were done during the light of day.

Deputies with the ACSO Action Team (Anti-Crime Team In Our Neighborhoods) have been doing extra patrols and keeping a close eye on trailhead parking lots over the last several weeks.

Deputies were also on the lookout for a white pickup truck which was spotted in February around the same time as one of the car burglaries at the Eagle Sports Complex off Horseshoe Bend Road.

An Action Team deputy was parked by the Ada County landfill Thursday afternoon and keeping an eye on the Seaman Gulch trailhead when a white GMC pickup truck pulled in just before 5 p.m.

The men in the pickup, later identified as Sublet and Hinote, waited until all the people near the parking lot were  gone. The deputy, who was about 1000 feet away and up the hill, then saw them break a window of a car and grab a purse and backpack from inside.

The deputy called in the burglary over the radio and took off after the truck. Other ACSO deputies, who had been told a white pickup had pulled into the trailhead parking lot, were already on their way.

Deputies pulled over the truck on Hill Road moments later and arrested Sublet and Hinote. Deputies found the purse and backpack inside the truck the duo had just taken from the car at the trailhead.

While you should always lock your car or truck when parked at a trailhead — or anywhere else — it’s a good idea to leave your purse or wallet at home or take it with you when recreating in the Foothills.

The ACSO Action Team’s focus is to identify and impact specific crime problems and quality of life issues that affect our community.

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