Man accused of illegal burn was also stealing water, electricity, food from neighbors, police say

Hurricane Police vehicle, Hurricane, Utah, Dec. 9, 2016 | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Hurricane man charged with stealing food, water and electricity from his neighbors was arrested Tuesday after a fire brought police to his place of residence.

Anthony James Jessop, 43 was charged with multiple offenses in 5th District Court Thursday, including a second-degree felony count of burglary and misdemeanor counts of theft of services, burning without a permit and theft.

Anthony James Jessop, 43, of Hurricane, Utah, bookings photo posted May 29, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Firefighters responded to a fire reported near a trailer in the area of 505 North 50 W. in Hurricane and quickly extinguished the blaze.

Police were also dispatched to the fire and were advised by the fire officials that the person who started the fire said he was burning weeds in the yard, according to court documents, which is prohibited unless done during open burn season.

Officers recognized Jessop as he was exiting the trailer, according to the probable cause statement written in support of his arrest.

A records check showed an active warrant for Jessop, and officers placed him under arrest for the warrant and illegal burning.

The warrant arrest stems from a 2017 case in which Jessop failed to appear in court on two charges, including misdemeanor charges of failing to stop at an officer’s command and interfering with an arrest and an infraction for disorderly conduct.

Officers looking over the burn area noticed what appeared to be wire under some yard debris, according to the police statement. Police said when confronted about it, Jessop said he was burning weeds and the wire must have been under the vegetation, allegedly unbeknownst to him at the time.

Map shows location of trailer located at 505 North 50 W. indicated by a red pin in Hurricane, Utah | Image courtesy of Google Earth, St. George News

Officers also located a garden hose that ran from Jessop’s trailer to a hose connection located in an empty lot next door, according to the statement. A portion of the hose opposite the trailer was partially buried, which police said they believed was done in an attempt to hide it.

In a witness statement, the next-door neighbor told officers that the hose was one that went missing from his property.

Officers also received multiple reports from Jessop’s neighbors that the suspect had allegedly been stealing water and electricity using hoses and extension cords.

When questioned about the water, Jessop allegedly replied, “You can’t steal water, it’s free.”

Officers checked the home and located several items previously reported stolen, according to the police statement, including a bicycle valued at $600 matching the description of one taken during a residential burglary reported the week before a few blocks away.

The person whose bike was allegedly stolen also reported several other items missing, including spoons, eggs, milk and other food items. Police noted in the probable cause statement that a freshly broken egg was located outside near Jessop’s trailer.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders 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, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • comments June 2, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    very very classy

    • mesaman June 2, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Maybe he thinks he is on public assistance, only the public is his neighbors, the tax payers from Hurricane, and (dare I say it?) his skills training at the “city”.

      • Carpe Diem June 3, 2018 at 6:02 am

        Yeah I was thinking that as well, a very “lost boy” who wandered out from under the FLDS tutelage? “Jessop”

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