CEDAR CITY — Cedar City Police arrested a 24-year-old man on multiple theft, burglary and criminal mischief charges Tuesday after he admitted to breaking into soda and laundry machines at various locations in Cedar City, causing more than $5,000 in damages.
Early Tuesday morning, Cedar City Police officers encountered Dustin Fane Twitchell, of Cedar City, riding a bicycle and wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, black gloves, a bandanna over his face, a second black bandanna over his hair and carrying a backpack, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jimmy Roden said.
“He was seen leaving the area where a business alarm had just been set off,” Roden said. “The officer ultimately searched Twitchell and found him to be in possession of several burglary tools.”
Further investigation showed the backpack contained a hammer, pry bar, wire cutters and a metal punch, according to a probable cause statement written by Cedar City Police Officer David McIntyre in support of Twitchell’s arrest.
“When questioned about the tools and surrounding circumstances, Twitchell admitted he had the tools should an easy target of opportunity to use them (present) itself,” McIntyre said in the statement.
Based on physical evidence and statements, Cedar City Police officers were able to arrest Twitchell in connection with four different cases where coin-operated washing machines and soda machines had been broken into, Roden said.
On Monday, McIntire had been called to 468 S. 75 West in Cedar City and took a report of damage to a Coca-Cola machine.
“I found the machine had been damaged to the point it was not operable,” McIntire said in a probable cause statement regarding the case. “The front door had been pried open and the change box removed.”
The machine is leased, so an employee of Coca-Cola was called in. He estimated the damage to the machine to be at least $1,500.
The amount of money taken from the machine is unknown, as it is emptied monthly, according to the statement.
Twitchell admitted to breaking into the Coca-Cola machine during an interview when arrested Tuesday.
Cedar City Police officers also responded to a call of a vending machine that had been broken into and robbed Tuesday. Twitchell was questioned and also confessed to this incident. He removed less than $1 from the machine but caused an estimated $300 in damage to it.
Twitchell additionally admitted to breaking into a laundry area of the Canyon Park Apartments, 298 E. Fiddler’s Canyon Drive, according to a second probable cause statement.
Cedar City Police Detective Nate Williams reported that Twitchell entered and remained in the laundry area with the intent to commit theft and caused more than $1,500 in damages to the commercial laundry machines.
“Dustin (Twitchell) intentionally damaged and destroyed two commercial washing machines and one commercial (dryer),” Williams said in a probable cause statement. “The replacement cost from HomeDepot.com is $2700.”
Estimated cash theft from the three machines Twitchell broke into was $150, but more than $5,000 in damages were reported as a result of the combined theft cases Twitchell admitted to, Roden said.
Twitchell was booked into the Iron County Jail and charged with two counts of burglary of a nondwelling and three counts of criminal mischief for damage, third-degree felonies; he was also charged with four counts of theft, one count of criminal mischief for damage, and one count for possession of burglary tools, class B misdemeanors.
Twitchell remains in the custody with $15,000 bail required for his release at the time of this publication.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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