Argument in LaVerkin parking lot leads to arrest of couple on drug, theft charges

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An argument in a LaVerkin parking lot Wednesday led to the arrest of a man and a woman, who are now facing multiple charges in three jurisdictions.

Officers were dispatched to a disturbance reported at the Davis Farmers Market store, 495 N. State Street. Responding police found a couple arguing in the parking lot, LaVerkin Police Sgt. Amber Crouse said.

Garrett Scott Shaffer, 40, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted June 13, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The officer spoke to the couple, later identified as 40-year-old Garrett Scott Shaffer, of St. George, and 36-year-old Amy Beth Caprioglio, of Hurricane.

A records check showed that both Shaffer and Caprioglio were wanted by police for questioning in an unrelated incident involving a theft reported at a hotel in Springdale.

The Springdale-Zion Canyon Department of Public Safety was contacted and confirmed that both individuals were persons of interest in connection with the theft, Britt Ballard, the department’s public information officer, said. Springdale Police Sgt. Jason Shafer and officer Matt Hansen made their way to LaVerkin to question the pair.

The Springdale incident involved camping gear that was allegedly stolen from a luggage rack located on top of a vehicle parked at a hotel June 9.

“The canvas on the luggage rack was cut open,” Ballard said, “and more than $1,000 worth of camping gear was reported stolen.”

The theft was reported the following day and surveillance footage of the hotel parking lot was turned over to police.

A still photo created from the footage was later posted on a social media site, and police received information identifying Shaffer and Caprioglio Tuesday after someone recognized the couple and contacted police.

During questioning, Ballard said both Shaffer and Caprioglio allegedly confessed to the crime and were placed under arrest for theft of the camping equipment and criminal mischief for damaging the canvas bag attached to the luggage rack.

Amy Beth Caprioglio, 36, of Hurricane, Utah, booking photo posted June 13, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

With the suspects in custody, LaVerkin police began a search of the vehicle before it was impounded, Crouse said.

“Once they were arrested, an inventory was done on the vehicle, and that’s when the drugs were located,” Crouse said, “along with the stolen property from the Springdale case.”

In the meantime, one of the Springdale Police officers was searching Shaffer and recovered a box of fentanyl patches from the man’s pocket along with a single patch from his body, according to the probable cause statement written in support of the arrest, which noted that he did not have a prescription for the Schedule II drug.

The suspect, Shaffer, told Springdale officers that the stolen camping gear was located in a rental truck parked at the home he was staying at, according to the arrest document.

Police responded to where the rental truck was located and recovered “most of the property that had been stolen,” the police statement reads.

Shaffer and Caprioglio were then transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on multiple offenses.

Shaffer faces one count of theft and one count of drug possession, both class A misdemeanors, as well as one count of criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor.

Shaffer appeared in Fifth District Court Friday where he was arraigned on the charges and an additional misdemeanor drug possession charge stemming from the vehicle search by LaVerkin police.

Additionally, one count of theft of a rental vehicle, a second-degree felony, was filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office Friday after St. George Police found that the rental truck, where the stolen camping gear was discovered, had not been returned to the rental agency.

As of Saturday, Shaffer remains in custody on $3,600 bail.

Caprioglio faces one count of theft and two counts of drug possession, both class A misdemeanors. One felony count of drug possession was later added for transporting contraband into the jail.

During a search of Caprioglio, corrections officers discovered she had a fentanyl patch, which she had failed to disclose to officers, Ballard said.

“She was asked prior to entering the jail if she had anything on her, and she told them she did not,” Ballard said. “So, they included that charge because they discovered it in the jail.”

Caprioglio appeared at the Fifth District Court where she was arraigned on the charges and remains in custody on $3,500 bail as of Saturday.

This report is based on statements from police and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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