Burglary suspect identified, arrested with help from public

Surveillance images showing suspect in business during burglary in St. George, Utah, April 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was arrested on multiple charges after police received numerous calls from the public identifying the suspect after images of an alleged burglary were posted on the department’s Facebook page and released to the media.

Juan Peraza Chavez, of St. George, Utah, bookings photo posted May 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Juan Peraza Chavez, 35, was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Purgatory Correctional Facility. He faces multiple charges, including one third-degree felony count of burglary and one count each of criminal mischief and theft, both class B misdemeanors. Chavez is being held on $6,360 bail.

“Tips received from that request for assistance helped to identify Juan Chavez, which led to his arrest,” St. George Police officer Lona Trombley said.

Chavez was formally charged Thursday during an arraignment hearing held at the 5th District Court in St. George.

The arrest and charges stem from a burglary reported April 21 at a local title loan business where the suspect, later identified as Chavez, entered the business through a window at the back of the store that was shattered after he allegedly threw a rock at it.

The surveillance footage showed Chavez going through the building wearing a short-sleeved shirt, exposing his forearms where several distinct tattoos were clearly visible in the security images.

Surveillance image shows man carrying iPad mini during alleged business burglary in St. George, Utah, April 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

After allegedly taking an iPad Mini and an attached keyboard, Chavez exited the store through the broken window.

Photos from the surveillance footage taken during the incident were posted on the St. George Police Department’s Facebook page and released to the media the following day.

Read more: Police ask for public’s aid in finding person of interest in theft

The exposure triggered a high volume of calls in which “the suspect, ‘Juan Chavez’ was named on every call,” the probable cause statement written in support of his arrest stated. During one call, police were told that Chavez was seen wearing the same clothing that appeared in the security images.

Chavez’ arrest came six days later, and he remains in jail at the time of this report. His next court appearance is scheduled May 7.

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.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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

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  • comments May 4, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    A title loan business, huh? Was he stealing back the title to his car? If it was any place had to be burgled I’m glad it was a title loan place. They are basically criminals in their own right. So thieves stealing from thieves.

  • Mike P May 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    See ? I told you it was that guy in all those pictures !

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