Thu, Oct. 17

Seeking suspects: Vandalism, burglaries in Verde Valley

Paint was splattered across all walls and surfaces in a house in Rimrock last week. Photo courtesy YCSO

Paint was splattered across all walls and surfaces in a house in Rimrock last week. Photo courtesy YCSO

Law officers are looking for suspects in criminal activity recently reported in the Beaver Creek area as well as Sedona and Cottonwood.

On Wednesday, April 23, a property management company representative discovered vandalism at an unoccupied home in the 4300 block of Cliffside Trail in Rimrock. The home had been forcibly entered, and every wall and surface had been splattered with paint. Based on the condition of the paint, the damage appeared to have been done just a few days earlier.

Yavapai County Sheriff's deputies found handbags, blankets, liquor and indication of marijuana use. Physical evidence is being processed but there are no significant leads. Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call the YCSO at (928) 771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 800-932-3232. Refer to case number 14-014312.

The next day, Thursday, deputies were called to investigate vehicle burglaries at four different trailheads. They included Montezuma Well in Rimrock, the Bell trailhead west of the Beaver Creek Campground, the Palatki Ruins near Sedona and the Cliffrose trailhead in Cottonwood.

According to the report, in each case, windows were smashed to gain entry into the vehicles.

At Montezuma Well, a woman lost her purse and wallet, including two $100 bills, credit cards and identification. At the Bell Trail, the victim lost a gray "redwing" backpack, pa nts and other clothing, a gold cloth Velcro wallet, credit cards, $20 in cash, and federal and state river guiding credentials. At Palatki, the victim lost a gray "Frye" brand purse containing her wallet with credit cards, cell phone and jewelry. At Cliffrose, the victim lost a large white canvas "Diane Von Frustenger" purse with red and purple flowers, $150 in cash, along with Chase and Barclay credit cards.

The YCSO notes that at the Palatki Ruins parking area, witnesses saw a 1990s model Ford Explorer, dark blue over all with a grey quarter panel. The Ford is likely an older model with scratched up paint. A male was seen near the victim's vehicle, but there are no further details on his description. It is possible all four burglaries are linked to the same

YCSO has always recommended that anyone parking their vehicles in trailhead areas should avoid leaving valuables in plain sight. If at all possible, do not carry valuables in your vehicle if you plan to use a trailhead parking area. In most of these cases, suspect(s) forced entry into vehicles only where items of value were easily visible. Trailhead parking lots are a prime target for this type of criminal activity. In past cases, suspects were known to monitor the parking area and wait for hikers to leave their vehicle unattended. Once the owner was out of sight on their hike, suspects had plenty of time to burglarize vehicles knowing the owners may not return for several hours.

YCSO deputies are seeking anyone with information on these crimes to call 928-771-3260 or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232 where your anonymous tip leading to an arrest could also lead to a cash reward.

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