Police seek help finding suspect in vehicle burglaries, credit card fraud; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE – While one woman is in police custody Sunday for her role in a spree of vehicle burglaries and credit card fraud cases throughout Washington County, police are actively seeking information regarding the whereabouts of her alleged accomplice who fled from police Sunday afternoon.

The St. George Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Joshua Richards, of St. George, seen driving a newer model silver or grey Volkswagen Jetta with Nevada license plate 661 LTZ.

Joshua Richards, wanted by police for burglary and fraud | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department
Joshua Richards, wanted by police for burglary and fraud | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department | Click on photo to enlarge

Richards has significant criminal history and suspected gang ties, and police are advising the public to use caution if he is spotted.

St. George Police officers were conducting follow-up Sunday in regards to several vehicle burglaries that occurred over the weekend, St. George Police Sgt. Spencer Holmes said.

One of the vehicle burglary incidents involved a silver Volvo parked in a church parking lot that had its window smashed in and credit cards stolen from inside the vehicle around 7:30 p.m. Friday, Holmes said.

Within two hours of the incident, the vehicle burglary suspects had already used the stolen credit cards at three locations in Washington County, including Game Stop, Pro Image and the Washington City Wal-Mart.

Holmes said surveillance footage was instrumental in identifying Richards as the suspect, as well as identifying the vehicle Richards was driving – a silver Volkswagen Jetta.

Just before 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the silver Jetta was located in the parking lot of Gen X clothing store, located at 2696 Pioneer Road in St. George.

When Richards spotted officers, he got into the silver Jetta and fled the area, heading south towards the SunRiver development at a high rate of speed, Holmes said. Due to heavy traffic in the area and safety concerns, officers did not pursue.

When he fled, Richards left behind a woman, identified as 20-year-old Jesse Edmiston, who was with Richards at the store, Holmes said. When officers went to question Edmiston, she fled on foot through the parking lot but was apprehended and placed under arrest after a short foot pursuit.

Jesse Skylene Edmiston, St. George area transient, Utah, booking photo posted April 19, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News
Jesse Skylene Edmiston, St. George area transient, Utah, booking photo posted April 19, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s booking, St. George News

Holmes said Edmiston was involved in the previous credit card fraud incident and was in the process of committing another credit card fraud when officers located her.

“Some property was found on her that led officers to inquire about additional vehicle burglaries,” Holmes said. “One of them had not even been reported or discovered by the victim yet. And that was at a hotel just one exit up at the Hilton Garden Inn.”

Edmiston was transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and charged with 11 third-degree felonies, seven class A misdemeanors and two class B misdemeanors for multiple theft and fraud charges in addition to failing to stop at the command of the police. Her bail pending trial stands at $69,795.

Be on the lookout

Neither Richards nor the silver Jetta he was driving had been located as of Monday morning.

Richards is a suspect in multiple vehicle burglaries and credit card fraud cases and the St. George Police Department is asking the public’s help in locating him. Anyone with information regarding Richards’ whereabouts is asked to contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

“He is a local person with local ties here,” Holmes said. “He’s also a documented gang member. He has extensive involvement with our police agencies in the area, so use caution when dealing with him or if you locate him and identify him. He’s prone to violence and theft and he does have drug involvements in the area.”

St. George Police are also asking any other potential vehicle burglary victims to report the incident so they might tie the cases together.

“It would be nice to identify any other cars that he hit,” Holmes said, “or any other people that have had their stuff stolen.”

Don’t be the next victim

When Edmiston was apprehended, police discovered she was in possession of items stolen from another smash-and-grab vehicle burglary that occurred Sunday in the parking lot of the Hilton Garden Inn, located at 1731 S. Convention Center Drive in St. George.

The window of the vehicle was broken in the middle of the day, and a purse was stolen from inside the vehicle.

“It’s very common for people to leave their wallets and purses in vehicles,” Holmes said. “The second those things are stolen, people try to use the debit and credit cards right away before the victims realize the stuff’s stolen.”

Holmes stressed the importance of not leaving valuable items inside vehicles, or to at least keep them out of sight.

My only advice is don’t keep any valuables in your car,” he said. “People will take what is easiest to obtain and it’s very common for people to take stuff out of unlocked cars but if there’s a big, bulky mom purse, you know, with a wallet hanging out of it, it’s nothing for them to smash a window too – even in the middle of the day.”

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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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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21 Comments

  • Real Life April 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    So when you get your face tattooed, it’s pretty much over, right?

  • Free Parking April 20, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    LOL..! Just another scum bag drug addict stealing so he can get a fix

  • Looneybugavenger April 20, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Uh yup yup yup them druggies be stealing anything they can uh yup yup yup uh uh yup yup yup

    • ladybugavenger April 20, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      🙂

    • ladybugavenger April 20, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      I’m flattered that you found me inspirational

  • kweenstarr April 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    First of all, Josh has been my friend for many years. He has had to deal with his problems with addiction and gets himself in situations he could have avoided. That doesn’t mean he is a bad person. Research addiction and stop judging people by the way they look. Its his choice where he put some of his tatts. Yes he made bad decisions. But he just wasn’t in the right mind and he has to live with the that. I dont condone his actions but he is a human being and makes mistakes just like the rest of us. .

    • Mike April 20, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      You have got to be kidding. Your friend is a dirtbag serial thief prone to violence. He doesn’t need you defending him, unless you are a cheap criminal defense attorney.

    • Billy Madison April 20, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      The guy is a freaking THIEF!! That makes him a BAD guy. And if you are covering for him, that makes you an accomplice. I don’t care how he looks, he is a freaking thief, he steals things from people, he is a bad bad bad person. He isn’t misguided or under-privileged, he is a Freaking Thief!! I hope the cops find him and do their thing on him while he is “resisting”.

    • Looneybugavenger April 21, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Your friend is nothing but a worthless drugged out scum bag who has no sense of personal responsibility and thinks it’s not his fault he has a drug problem just like the rest of them drug addicts.. no sympathy from me lock him up where he belongs

    • ladybugavenger April 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Its people like you that were in my sons life saying, “He is a good kid” your disgust me. .. there was nothing good about what he was doing just like this guy, so Stop!!!! There isn’t any good in what this guy is doing. He’s a liar and a thief! No good! If you were a friend, youd tell him he’s a piece of ****…. Youre Disgusting, saying he’s a good person. Wake up!!!

      • Looneybugavenger April 22, 2015 at 11:50 pm

        Maybe you should tell your meth head son the same thing

    • ladybugavenger April 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Be a friend, tell him to turn himself in! Otherwise your just a conspirator. Or as another person said “accomplice”

      • Looneybugavenger April 22, 2015 at 11:52 pm

        And you’re a pathetic whining loser that keeps blaming the whole world for your problems

        • Mike April 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

          You can’t even concede that you and LBA are agreeing on this subject. Argument for the sake of argument gets ridiculous, petty and juvenile. Good day.

          • Free Parking April 23, 2015 at 11:08 pm

            Whaaaaaaa Whaaaaaaa Mommy Mommy I don’t what they’ve saying. WHAAAAAAA WHAAAAAAA WHAAAAAAA

    • disgusted April 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      IM NOT PERFECT MYSELF BUT IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM IS THERE ANY EXCUSE FOR HIM TO VIOLATE ALL THESE PEOPLES LIVES OF THE POSESSIONS THEY HAVE WORKED TO ACQUIRE! WE ALL HAVE TO DEAL WITH OUR PROBLEMS BUT THAT IS NO REASON TO MAKE OTHERS PAY FOR THEM!!!!!!!!! HE HAS KIDS HES NEVER PAID CHILD SUPPORT FOR ! AND ONE ON THE WAY ! HE LEFT HIS PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND IN THE PARKING LOT TO GET ARRESTED WHILE HE GOT AWAY FROM THE COPS!!!AND WHATS YOUR FRIEND DOING NOW!!!WHAT A MAN HE IS HUH?!!! WITH YOU STICKING UP FOR FRIENDS LIKE THAT SOUNDS LIKE YOURE NOT IN YOUR RIGHT STATE OF MIND!!!

    • Simone April 21, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      He must be your Bishop.

  • beentheredonethat April 20, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I’m certain the victims of these “bad choices” will agree with you, wholeheartedly. All but the tattooed eyebrows. A mistake? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! A very nice facial adornment!!!!

  • sagemoon April 21, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Scum bag. His neck tattoo says it all, UNEMPLOYABLE. You see this guy coming, you know he’s going to steal because he is “unemployable.” Nice advertising, dude. And what’s up with ditching your friend when the cops show up? Loser.

  • pissedoffmommy April 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

    That “friend” he ditched was his pregnant 20 year old girlfriend!! Ya he’s a real winner there! She’s not innocent, but she never did a lot of this crap until she met him, a grown man 15 years older than her!

    • sagemoon April 21, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      I’d be a pissed off mommy, too.

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