HURRICANE — Police arrested a 30-year-old man Monday for his alleged involvement in a string of vehicle burglaries in Hurricane over the last month.
Officers were on foot patrol in the area of Robert’s Roost RV Park located at 113 W. 400 South where approximately 20 vehicles had reportedly been burglarized over the last three weeks, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Hurricane City Police Department in support of the arrest.
While at the RV Park, an officer observed a man, later identified as Levi Ray Carpenter, exit a residence and open the driver’s side door of a blue Oldsmobile. With a flashlight in hand, Carpenter proceeded to look through items in the backseat of the vehicle.
Officers approached and talked with Carpenter. After running his information through dispatch, the officer learned Carpenter had prior theft and drug involvement, according to the statement.
When officers asked Carpenter about the flashlight in his hand, Carpenter told him “he found it in the car a little while earlier and put batteries in it,” the arresting officer wrote in the statement. “He stated he was using it ‘but did not know who it belonged to.’”
The flashlight matched the exact description of a flashlight that had recently been reported stolen, the report sated, along with three guns and other items from a man’s car and truck.
Carpenter told police the Oldsmobile was his and that he was buying it from the people whose residence he exited where he was also living at the time, according to the report. Officers obtained permission to search the vehicle from the owners.
“Levi was very nervous and was sweating even though it was in the 30s (degrees),” the officer wrote. “Levi was trying to explain things but then would contradict himself on what he just said.”
Officers asked Carpenter to be honest about what was in the car, the report stated. Carpenter told police there was a camera and a Kindle inside that a friend gave him to keep but that he didn’t know who they belonged to.
Carpenter also pointed out a yellow container with drugs and drug paraphernalia — including heroin, methamphetamine, syringes and a spoon — contained inside, according to the statement.
An eyewitness to a vehicle burglary from the night before arrived on scene and positively identified Carpenter as the man he had seen in his yard, the report stated. The camo jacket and jean pants with white pockets the witness described Carpenter had been wearing were found inside the Oldsmobile.
“Levi stated (the clothes) were his at first,” the officer wrote, “but then stated a ‘friend gave them to him that morning.’”
Authorities were able to contact the owner of the Kindle who told them her vehicle had been broken into Sunday morning and that her purse had been gone through, the report states. She also stated $40 and a Kindle had been stolen during the burglary.
Inside the Oldsmobile, police also located a vehicle registration decal that had been stolen from the center console of another man’s vehicle, along with other items, about a month ago, according to the statement.
Carpenter was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
He was subsequently charged with three third-degree felony counts of theft; six class A misdemeanors for burglary of a vehicle and possession of drugs; and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Carpenter made his initial court appearance Monday in 5th District Court.
According to Utah Court Documents, Carpenter has a criminal history of theft- and drug-related arrests dating back to 2004.
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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