Detectives investigate smash-and-grab car burgs in north Ada County

Our best advice for people who want to avoid being victims of crime is to lock your stuff up. Today we want to add to that message with an essential additional piece of advice, which is  — take your stuff out of your car or truck while you’re at it.

Our detectives have taken over a dozen reports of thieves smashing into cars in the Hidden Springs, Avimor, and north Boise Foothills neighborhoods since April 8. Burglars are smashing car and truck windows to steal purses, backpacks, computers, athletic shoes, binoculars, and other valuable items that people have left in locked cars and trucks – but visible from the outside.

In one of the burglaries, thieves broke into a car and stole a wallet, and then used the garage door opener to get inside and steal a bike.

All the burglaries happened overnight. Cars and trucks were parked in driveways.

It sure doesn’t seem fair that your own driveway might not be the safest place for your stuff. That being said, it’s just a good idea to take your valuables – especially purses, wallets, backpacks, and guns — out of the car and into your locked house. Why risk it?

Anyone with information about the break-ins should call Ada County dispatch at (208) 377-6790 or send an email to cau@adaweb.net

 

 

 

Eagle Police investigate a series of break-ins at homes under construction

Thieves have broken into at least four homes under construction in Eagle since February — stealing thousands of dollars worth of new appliances and tools.

The homes are in the neighborhoods surrounding BanBury Golf Course.

Thieves also broke into a home under construction at Rivermist Avenue in Star last week. Investigators say that break-in could be connected to the Eagle burglaries.

The method is the same – thieves find homes under construction with unlocked doors, break-in at night when on one else is around, and steal new appliances (including refrigerators, stoves, water heaters), plumbing supplies and construction equipment left at the sites.

Eagle burgs

Eagle Police detectives have met with local builders and construction crews to encourage them to securely lock all construction sites when they are done for the day – or even when they go to lunch or take a break.

We’ve had cases in the past where crews have left for an hour to go to lunch, left their work sites wide open, and returned to find all their tools and ladders were gone.

Anyone with information should call Eagle Police at (208) 938-2260 or send an email to cau@adaweb.net

Doing whatever we can to prevent property crimes like theft and vandalism is a priority for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office — and we need your help to do that.

We are always reminding people the best thing they can do to avoid being victims of crime is to lock their stuff up. That means all doors, windows, and vehicles at your homes – especially garage and side doors.

 

 

33-year-old Kuna man charged with sex abuse of a minor

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 33-year-old Kuna man who exposed his genitals to a pre-teenage girl in a local fast food restaurant last month— and detectives are trying to figure out if he has done the same thing to any other kids.

Tyler A. Howell is charged with a felony count of sex abuse of a minor under the age of 16.

Deputies began their investigation on Jan. 26 after being contacted by a third party.

They determined the girl and her grandmother were at a fast food restaurant on Chinden Boulevard on Jan. 5 and were eating in the dining area when a man, later identified at Howell, sat down near them and began masturbating when the girl looked at him.

Investigators later determined Howell would stop when anyone else walked by but would start again.

The girl told her grandmother after they left the restaurant what happened. Our deputies found out a short time later and began their investigation. They developed the evidence to arrest Howell this week after gathering evidence and doing interviews.

Howell is set to make his initial court appearance Friday afternoon.  The crime of sexual abuse of a minor under the age of 16 is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Howell has recently worked for a local carpet/duct cleaning service that does business all over Ada County .

Detectives are concerned there may be more child victims.

Anyone with information should call Detective Shellie Strolberg at (208) 577-3788 or send an email to SStrolberg@adaweb.net

Five-hour standoff in south Boise ends with arrest of 26-year-old man on aggravated assault and drug charges

Justin T. Larson is charged with resisting arrest in connection with a five-hour long standoff in a south Boise neighborhood Monday night that began earlier in the day when he threatened a woman with a gun.

Larson is also charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance in connection with the case.

The incident began shortly before 3 p.m. Monday when a woman told deputies Larson pointed a handgun at her in the driveway of a home in the 3900 block of W. Leland Way and threatened to hurt her.

The woman said she left before anything else happened.

Deputies began searching for Larson and determined he was still inside the Leland Way home. They attempted to contact him but he refused to answer.

Deputies then went to the home and set up a perimeter once they determined Larson was the only person inside.

Investigators then activated the Ada Metro SWAT team, who began arriving at the home shortly after 7 p.m. The SWAT team brought their MRAP armored vehicle out to the scene as a precaution.

Once the SWAT team set up around the home, they used loudspeakers to try to get Larson to come out. They also took a K9 dog to the door and asked him to leave, but he did not respond.

With the permission of the homeowner, SWAT team members opened the door and sent their robot camera in to search inside.  SWAT team members then went inside the home and found Larson, who was hiding in the attic and refused to come out.

Deputies eventually sent a K9 dog into the attic to get Larson to leave. That’s when Larson fell from the attic and through the ceiling on to the ground, where he was taken into custody.

Screen Shot 2018-01-23 at 9.42.32 AM

The standoff ended just before midnight.

Deputies found a computer bag in the house belonging to Larson that had small amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana inside — along with a 9mm handgun he told investigators he had in his waistband earlier in the day.

Larson was then booked into the jail, where he was also arrested on two active warrants for felony probation violations.

The 26-year-old Larson is set to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies were in contact with the people in the homes near the standoff and asked those residents to shelter in place until it was over.

 

 

 

 

The “jury duty” phone scam has evolved into “federal warrant” phone scam and continues to plague Ada County

Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies will never call and threaten to arrest you because you missed jury duty — or have a federal arrest warrant — or have an outstanding civil judgment — or anything like that.

Deputies will also never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to “cancel the arrest warrant” for missing that phony jury duty, or having a phony federal arrest warrant, or some other made-up charge.

Scammers will do that. In fact, they are doing it to Ada County citizens right now. They use phone numbers with a 208 area code and use the names of current ACSO employees to sell the ruse.

Anyone who calls you and says they are from the ACSO, and asks for your money to prevent an arrest — or tell you to go to “kiosk at the jail” to pay any fines— is not from the ACSO. They are scammers.

In the latest version, the callers pretend to be a sergeant from the ACSO and tell people they have outstanding federal arrest warrants.

They then threaten to arrest people if they don’t provide personal information over the phone. Sometimes, they order people to go to the jail to pay fines at an automated kiosk.

We don’t have a kiosk to pay fines at the jail. So when people go there and discover that, the imposters tell them they’ll have to pay their fines over the phone.

This is a variation of the same scam that has plagued Boise residents numerous times over the past three years. It used to be the scammers threatened to arrest people for missing jury duty. Now it’s all about the fake federal warrants.

Several dozen Ada County residents reported getting the phone calls this month. The mythical amount people “owe” has been anywhere from $495 to $4,000.

The scammers usually 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. The “kiosk” twist is new.

The calls have 208 area codes and can appear to come from local businesses, a government agency, or even friends — but it’s really someone trying to get you to answer the phone.

The scammers get the numbers and make the calls over the internet with burner cell phones, making them very hard to trace.

The Better Business Bureau is aware of the scam and says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call.

Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put you at risk for fraud.

If you did miss jury duty in Ada County, you would get a letter in the mail. If you had a civil judgment, you would be served in person, no over the phone.

No one from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office will ever ask for a credit card number to pay any kind of fine over the phone.

If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau online at BBB.org.

72-year-old man who fell and spent the night stuck in the desert is getting medical treatment

A 72-year-old man who went out to the desert south of Boise to do some target shooting Monday afternoon and didn’t return home that night was found almost a day later lying stuck in the snow.

The man survived and is getting medical treatment.

Deputies later determined the man went out to do some shooting near the Pleasant Valley/ Tenmile Creek roads area and was in the process of setting up a target when he stepped into a hole and fell over. He said his foot was stuck and he couldn’t move, so he spent the night and next morning night lying stuck in the snow in the field.

The man was reported missing by his family just before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. They told ACSO dispatchers he went out early Monday afternoon to go shooting and never returned home – or went to any of his other family member’s homes Monday night. Once they figured that out, they called 911 immediately.

Deputies pinged the man’s cell phone and searched the desert around the Pleasant Valley/Tenmile Creek/Kuna Mora roads area for several hours but were not able to find the man or his truck, as there was a thick fog and visibility was limited in the area.

Some recreationists found the man lying in the snow in the desert near the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse Corrals around 2 p.m. and called 911.

Paramedics and deputies were able to use four-wheel drive vehicles to get out to the man and get him immediate treatment. Paramedics then transported him to a local hospital for treatment of what appear to be serious but non life-threatening injuries.

The temperature in the area where the man fell hit a low of 16 degrees overnight, according to National Weather Service reports.

“Jury duty” phone scam resurfaces in Ada County

Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies will never call and threaten to arrest you because you missed jury duty.

Deputies will also never ask you to place funds for payment on a pre-paid credit card to “cancel the arrest warrant” for missing that phony jury duty or some other made-up charge.

Anyone who calls, says they are from the ACSO, and asks for your money to prevent an arrest is not from the ACSO. They are scammers.

This is a variation of the same scam that has plagued Boise residents numerous times over the past three years.

Over a dozen Ada County residents reported getting phone calls this week from scammers pretending to work for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

In most recent cases, the scam caller identifies himself as an Ada County Sheriff’s deputy and requests personal information so he can clear the person’s name and cancel the mythical “arrest warrant.”

The mythical amount people “owe” has been anywhere from $500 to $4,000.

The scammers usually 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.

In some calls, the scammers just ask for your personal credit card numbers.

The scammers acquire phone numbers with a 208 area code to make the scam seem more credible.

The process is called “caller ID spoofing” and it’s getting more and more prevalent. The calls can appear to come from local businesses, a government agency, or even friends — but it’s really someone trying to get you to answer the phone.

The scammers get the numbers and make the calls using the internet, making them very hard to trace.

The Better Business Bureau is aware of the scam and says people can protect themselves from becoming victims of identify theft by never giving out any personal information when getting an unsolicited phone call.

Giving out sensitive information over the phone — both personal and financial — can put you at risk for fraud.

If you did miss jury duty in Ada County, you would get a letter in the mail. No one from the ACSO will ever ask for a credit card number to pay any kind of fine over the phone.

If you have received one of these scam phone calls, contact the Ada County Sheriff’s Office at 377-6790 or the Better Business Bureau online at BBB.org.

Reckless driver smashes into and badly damages ACSO patrol vehicle on I-84 early Saturday

Two Ada County Sheriff’s deputies managed to avoid serious injury early Saturday morning when a car smashed into one of our patrol Tahoes on the side of Interstate 84.

The deputies were pulled over on the median side of westbound I-84, just east of Blacks Creek Road, and had the emergency lights on — and flares on the road — while investigating a rollover crash that happened earlier in the morning when our Tahoe was hit.

IMG_2919

Initial reports indicate a 21-year-old man driving a car westbound on a snow-slickened I-84 just after 5 a.m. did not slow down and move over into the right hand lane — but instead stayed in the left lane, lost control, and smashed into the back of the ACSO Tahoe.

One of our deputies was in the Tahoe’s driver’s seat and another was standing outside, talking to the other deputy through an open window, when the crash occurred.

Both deputies saw what was about to happen, so the one standing outside dove out of the way while the other braced for impact.

The car smashed into the rear driver’s side of the Tahoe, rolled over, and came to rest about 20 feet next to the wreckage of the car involved in the crash the deputies were sent to investigate about an hour before.

DSCF5189.jpg

Both that car and the Tahoe sustained heavy damage.

Paramedics treated our deputies at the scene and later took them to a local hospital, where they were treated and released.

Paramedics treated the driver of the car, 21-year-old Dustin M. Peters, at the scene. He was not taken to the hospital.

Idaho State Police cited Peters on a charge of reckless driving in connection with the crash.

It’s fortunate our deputies managed to avoid serious injury — and a tribute to their ability to pay close attention to their surroundings at all times.

Crashes like this are why we ask drivers to slow down and move over when law enforcement vehicles are stopped on the side of any road — especially during slippery winter driving conditions.

Snow began falling in the Treasure Valley just before 9 p.m. Friday night and dropped about a ½ inch of snow on the ground by midnight, creating slippery driving conditions for the first time this winter.

By 11 a.m. Saturday, our dispatchers took reports on 25 crashes (3 with injuries) and 10 slide-offs in Ada County.

We are asking drivers to please slow down and ensure you have plenty of stopping distance when snow and ice coat our local roads and highways.

Snapchat hoax leads to police investigation at Eagle Academy

The sharing of a Snapchat video of an assembly at Eagle Academy where balloons were popping and kids were yelling led someone  off-campus to call 911 about a possible shooting at the school Friday morning.
Eagle Academy has a school resource officer, who was in the building at the time of the call and was able to immediately investigate the call. Eagle Police responded to the school immediately as well. Neither the SRO or Eagle Police found any evidence of suspicious activity. All the kids were safe.
The 911 call came into Ada County dispatch at 10:49 a.m. The school was put on lockdown immediately while officers searched the building.
IMG_1635
Investigators quickly figured out what happened – that a 14-year-old boy took a video of the assembly and sent it out on Snapchat. The boy had his phone’s camera lens covered up but the video of the yelling and balloons popping was audible. He wrote text on the video saying a shooting was happening at the school.
He sent the video on Snapchat to a friend, who wasn’t at school that day. The friend saw the video and called 911.
They boy sent out a second video a short time later where he said there was no shooting at the school, but it was too late as his friend already called dispatchers.
Investigators talking to the boy who shared the video.  No charges have been filed at this point but are expected at a later time.
School officials contacted the parents of all the Eagle Academy students with email updates during the incident, which lasted about an hour.

37-year-old Boise arrested for driving his car into Ada County Courthouse Fountain

Jonathan J. Locksmith is being held in the Ada County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving after he drove his car over the sidewalk and into the fountain in front of the Ada County Courthouse Sunday morning.

Deputies were called out to the courthouse, located at 200 W. Fort Street, in Boise just after 10:15 a.m. Sunday.

When deputies arrived, they found Locksmith’s car inside the fountain. Locksmith told investigators that he was upset at the court system and drove his car into on the fountain on purpose so he would be arrested.

Locksmith did not appear to be seriously injured. Deputies arrested him and booked him into the Ada County Jai. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Monday. Idaho court records show Locksmith has a misdemeanor battery charge from earlier this fall that has not yet been adjudicated.