Burglary suspect in custody after he drove SUV through fields in northwest Eagle to avoid arrest

A 22-year-old Canyon County man is in custody after he decided to drive an SUV through several fields in northwest Eagle and Star early Friday morning when a deputy attempted to pull him over for not having working tail lights.

Cody Ray Dale Willard is charged with felony burglary in connection to the case. He is also charged three felony counts of failure to appear out of Canyon County. Additional Ada County charges against Willard are pending.

The SUV was eventually found the empty SUV in a field off Prism Ridge Lane in Star. Willard was found hiding in a car about a mile away on Cowboy Lane. Detectives are also investigating if Willard is connected to recent construction site/home burglaries in north Ada County.

The incident began just before 2 a.m. when a deputy attempted to pull the SUV over near the Lanewood/Floating Feather roads intersection. The driver, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt which covered much of his face, took off, driving through fields to get to roads. Then he’d drive back into fields to avoid deputies. At one point, a deputy tried to use his patrol car to stop the SUV near the Star Ridge Way/Lanktree Gulch intersection.

Deputies called off the pursuit for safety reasons at that point, set up a perimeter, and began searching the neighborhoods for the SUV.

Deputies found the SUV in a field about 500 feet off Prism Ridge Lane in Star. The SUV was empty.

A short time later, a homeowner in the 4000 block of Cowboy Lane, which is about a mile away, found Willard, dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, laying in their car. Deputies arrived moments later and discovered Willard had taken several items from a shed at that house and had them with him in the car.

Deputies took Willard into custody at that point without further incident.

Willard is set to make his initial court appearance on Monday afternoon. The crime of felony burglary is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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Protect yourself from car burglars in the Foothills by taking purses and wallets with you when hiking or biking

Burglars have smashed windows of three different cars at trailheads and taken purses from inside since Monday.

The cars were all parked in the Foothills — at the Polecat Trailhead off Cartwright Road, a trailhead near milepost 5 on Bogus Basin Road, and the Eagle sports complex off Horseshoe Bend Road.

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.

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In all three cases, purses were stolen from inside. In at least two of the cases, credit cards were used before the owners were able to call financial institutions to cancel those cards.

The first one occurred between 12:30 and 2 p.m. at the trailhead off Bogus Basin Road. The second one happened later that day, between 5 and 6 p.m., at the Polecat Trailhead near the Cartwright Road/Pierce Park Lane. The third burglary occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Eagle Sports complex.

While it is unclear at this point if all three burglaries are connected, they are all very similar.

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

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. Another thing you can do is to take a look around before setting off and note anything that looks or feels weird.

Female inmate who did not return to jail after medical furlough is back in custody

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Molly Brown early Wednesday morning when they found her walking down Franklin Road.

Deputies had been looking for the 23-year-old Brown since Friday, when she did not turn herself back in at the Ada County Jail after she was released earlier that day for a court-ordered medical appointment.

Molly H. Brown is charged with felony counts of escape and failure to appear. Each of those charges has a $100,000 bond.

Members of the ACTION (Anti-Crime Team In Our Neighborhoods) team had been actively searching for Brown and all patrol deputies were on the lookout for her. Deputies were also in contact with Boise Police detectives since her disappearance last week.

A patrol deputy saw Brown walking down Franklin Road, near Phillippi Street, just before 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. That wasn’t near any places previously associated with Brown. That deputy recognized Brown and arrested her without any further incident.

Brown had been an inmate in the jail since Jan. 4 on several charges, including felony possession of controlled substance.

Brown was released into the custody of a family member Friday morning for a court-ordered medical appointment.

Brown was supposed to be back at the jail at 1 p.m. The family member dropped Brown off at the jail and watched her walk into the building before driving away.

Brown did not turn herself back in. She waited until the family member drove away and walked out of the building.

Brown is set to make her initial court appearance on the felony escape and failure to appear charges Thursday afternoon.

Deputies would like to thank Boise Police for their help in trying to find Brown.

The ACSO had over 250 court-ordered furloughs — when a judge orders that an inmate be temporarily released so that inmate can get services in the community that are not available at the jail — from the main facility in 2014. This is the first time this year that an inmate has not returned.

Eagle Police look for vandals who broke into home and caused a gas line fire

Eagle Police are looking for whoever vandalized a home in the 400 block of N. Stierman Way early Monday morning — and started a fire when they broke a gas line in the garage.

The damage to the home, which is for sale, is significant. The vandals broke appliances, smashed mirrors and pictures, and damaged furniture inside.

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Eagle police were sent to the home just after 9 a.m. Monday — a short time after a realtor discovered the damage.

It appears the vandals got inside the home sometime between late night Sunday and early Monday morning by kicking in a door on the garage. At some point, whoever broke in damaged a gas line inside the garage.

When Eagle Police arrived and checked out the home, they noticed flames coming from the garage and called Eagle Fire.

Eagle fire crews put out the blaze before it could spread to the rest of the home.

If that fire had gone undetected for much longer, it would have likely spread to the rest of the home, fire officials said.

No one was home at the time of the break-in.

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

Deputies looking for female inmate who didn’t return to jail after medical furlough

Deputies are looking for a 23-year-old Boise woman who did not turn herself back in at the Ada County Jail Friday after she was released earlier that day for a court-ordered medical appointment.

Molly H. Brown is charged with a felony count of escape. There is an active $100,000 arrest warrant for Brown.

Brown had been an inmate in the jail since Jan. 4 on several charges, including felony possession of controlled substance. She was released into the custody of a family member Friday morning for a court-ordered medical appointment.

Brown was supposed to be back at the jail at 1 p.m. The family member dropped Brown off at the jail and watched her walk into the building before driving away.

Brown did not turn herself back in. She waited until the family member drove away and walked out of the building.

Brown was last seen wearing blue stretch pants that look like jeans and a long-sleeve white T-shirt with sparkles.

Brown,Molly

The ACSO had over 250 court-ordered furloughs — when a judge orders that an inmate be temporarily released so that inmate can get services in the community that are not available at the jail — from the main facility in 2014. In every circumstance, those people checked back into the jail.

Anyone with information on where Brown is should call Ada County dispatch at 377-6790.

Here’s a quick Idaho Code lesson: motorized bicycles are not allowed in dedicated bike lanes

Did you know that riding a bicycle with a motor in a dedicated bike lane — or on a sidewalk — is against the law in Idaho?

Did you also know that motorized bikes need a stoplight, taillight, and a horn? If they don’t have those items, motorized bikes are not street legal. And it’s not just those three items. For a complete list of what is needed for a motorized bicycle to be legal, check out http://www.itd.idaho.gov/dmv/driverservices/documents/motorcycle_manual.pdf

We were recently contacted by a member of the public on our ACSO Twitter (@AdaCoSheriff) asking for clarity on what the rules were for bikes with a motor.

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If you want to do a deep dive, check out Idaho Code 49-114 (http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title49/T49CH1SECT49-114.htm).

We’ll stick to the main points here. One thing motorized cyclists do not need to be street legal is to have a driver’s license or insurance.

The main point is this. Once someone puts a motor on a bike, it is becomes just like a motorcycle, scooter, or moped — when the motor is on. That means they are just like a car or any other motorized vehicle and must follow all regular traffic rules.

If the motor is on and the cyclist is still pedaling, that doesn’t matter. It’s still a motorized vehicle.

The only way such vehicles can be legally in a dedicated bike lane is if the cyclist has turned the motor off and is pedaling.

If cyclists use a motor and are in a dedicated bike lane, they risk getting a ticket. If they do not have the legally required equipment, they risk getting a ticket.

19-year-old Kuna man charged with felony DUI

A 19-year-old Kuna man is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $150,000 bond for his role in a head-on car crash on Meridian Road in November that resulted in hospitalization of three people.

Andrew J. Ferguson is charged with two counts of felony aggravated DUI in connection with the Nov. 28 crash.

Ferguson was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix northbound on Meridian Road, north of Lake Hazel Road, just before 12:45 a.m. when he drove his car into the southbound lane.

The Grand Prix then collided with a 2015 Honda Fit, which was headed south.

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The force of the impact destroyed the front ends of both cars. The 18-year-old woman driving the Honda and her 21-year-old male passenger were both injured during the crash. So was Ferguson.

All were treated by paramedics at the scene and transported to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Deputies investigating the crash detected the odor of alcohol coming from Ferguson, who also had blood-shot eyes. Ferguson also admitted to drinking two beers prior to driving that night.

A blood sample was taken from Ferguson at the hospital for testing. Results of that test were not available Friday.

Ada County prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Ferguson Wednesday.

The charge of felony aggravated DUI is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine, and drivers license suspension of up to five years.

Protect yourself against tax identity theft by filing early

Tax season has arrived —  and identity thieves are already scheming to get your refund.

Tax identity theft occurs when someone files a fake tax return using your social security number. It can also occur when someone uses your social security number to get a job or claims your child as a dependent on their tax return.

Tax identity theft is the number one form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

One thing you can do to avoid being a victim is to file early — if you can — to get your refund before identity thieves do.

Make sure you use a secure Internet connection if you file electronically or “snail mail” from the post office to make it more difficult for thieves to get their hands on your personal information.

The tax identity theft scam is not going away. The FTC got 109,063 complaints about the scam in 2014. That’s almost 110,000 people across the U.S. who had some kind of identity theft scam associated with their taxes.

If you do find yourself the victim of tax identify theft, fill out IRS Form 14039 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf) and contact your local law enforcement agency.

Another important thing to remember is that no Internal Revenue Service official will ever call you about unpaid taxes or penalties. That communication comes through the mail.

So if someone calls you and says they are from the IRS and demands immediate payment or you will be arrested, hang up. This is a scam.

It’s not just people pretending to be from the IRS, either. Sometimes the scammers say they are from law enforcement or a utility company.

The scammers tell their victims to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card (like a Green Dot), load it up with money, and then call a phone number with the card information.

Never do that. Once that money is sent out, it’s gone for good.

If you get one of these calls from someone pretending to be from the IRS, hang up and then call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration office at 1 (800) 366-4484.

For more information on how to avoid being a victim of tax identity theft, visit the FTC’s website at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/3-ways-use-tax-identity-theft-awareness-week-help-people-your-life

Boise brothers busted for selling pot at their Bench home

A pair of Boise brothers who sold pot to undercover detectives twice since December are charged with trafficking in marijuana.

John E. Orelus, 19 and Alfred Orelus, 26, are also charged with two felony counts of delivery of marijuana. Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested the pair Thursday right after the brothers arranged to sell a pound of pot to officers.

Deputies found 783 grams (about 1 ½ pounds) of marijuana in the brother’s home in the 1100 block of Curtis Road after serving a search warrant there Thursday morning.

A roommate, 25-year-old Jordan A. Esters, is charged with felony possession of marijuana. All three men are currently being held in the Ada County Jail.

Detectives began their investigation late last fall after getting a tip the Orelus brothers were selling marijuana out of their home.

Detectives bought one ounce and later a quarter-pound of marijuana from the brothers prior to Thursday’s arrest.

All three men are set to make their initial court appearances Friday afternoon.

The crimes of delivery of marijuana and trafficking marijuana are punishable by up to five and 15 years in prison.

58-year-old Kuna woman is charged with felony assault for firing at deputies during standoff

Robin Ann Miller is charged with a felony count of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer in connection with a standoff involving the Ada Metro SWAT team Wednesday morning.

Miller fired at least one shot in the direction of SWAT team members who were outside her home in the 1300 block of S. Cholla Drive.

The 6-hour-standoff with the SWAT team was ended when Ada County Sheriff’s deputies were able to get into Miller’s home and get her out without any more shots being fired.

The 58-year-old Miller is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The incident began just after 3 a.m. Wednesday when Ada County dispatchers got a 911 call from a neighbor, who said they heard the sound of gunshots — and someone yelling for help — from Miller’s home.

Kuna Police arrived moments later and found a broken window. They then made contact with Miller by talking through the  window. Officers also saw a gun through the window. Miller would not explain what was going on or agree to come out to talk to officers.

Officers called for the Ada Metro SWAT team a short time later out of concern for public safety. Deputies continued to try to talk to Miller — through the window, using a megaphone, and also using a cell phone tossed into the home — but Miller would not cooperate.

Members of the SWAT team began arriving shortly after 5 a.m. and began to set up around the home.

At 8:12 a.m. Miller fired a shot from inside the home to near where SWAT team members had been standing a few moments before.

That’s when SWAT members asked to use the REVA armored personnel carrier. They continued to try to talk to Miller and convince her to come out while they waited for the REVA.

A phone alert was sent to the 12 homes nearest to Miller’s house telling people what was going on and that deputies would come to their homes to escort them out to ensure their safety.

For the homes directly across from Miller’s house, deputies parked the REVA between them to provide cover before they helped evacuate people inside those houses.

Deputies then used the REVA to knock down some tree branches and then part of the front door so they could get a better look on what was going on inside.

Once that was done they sent in a robot which broadcasts a video feed back to SWAT members. Deputies then sent the robot up the steps of the home to the bedroom where Miller was. They used the robot to talk with her and get video from inside.

Just before 11 a.m. SWAT members threw in some flash devices (which generate loud noise and blinding light), went into Miller’s room, and got her into custody.

SWAT members did not fire any rounds during the standoff. No one else was inside Miller’s home. No one was injured during the standoff.

Investigators later found at least two handguns and evidence that several shots were fired inside.

It is unclear why Miller fired shots inside her house and yelled for help at 3 a.m. or why she fired at SWAT team members later.

Deputies booked Miller into the Ada County Jail Wednesday afternoon after she was released from the hospital.

The crime of felony assault and battery on law officers (Idaho Code 18 – 915) is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.