Suspect blames intoxication for 3-day crime spree, including burglary of assisted living facility

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE A St. George man is in jail facing nearly 20 charges after a three-day crime spree across three different locations triggered multiple investigations that came together in a series of interviews, surveillance footage and a shoe print match Wednesday.

On March 8 officers responded to a report of a vehicle burglary on at the Mesas on South 1200 East, where two firearms, a 9 mm Glock and a .22-caliber Baretta were reportedly stolen.

The surveillance footage showed a male, later identified as Tyler Manygoats, 18, entering the driver’s side of the vehicle at about 3:30 a.m. and exiting the car nine minutes later.

A second vehicle burglary reportedly took place at the same location and during the same time period where a set of keys were taken from a vehicle.

That same vehicle was reportedly broken into a second time and showed no signs of forced entry, leading officers to believe the same suspect used the keys taken during the first incident.

Through the series of reports, officers learned that a number of vehicles were broken into at the complex over the course of three days beginning March 8.

Two days later, shortly before 2 a.m. officers were dispatched to the Bella Terra assisted living center located at 178 S. 1200 East after an employee reported that a man was seen entering one of the rooms through a window.

Tyler Manygoats booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, March 10. 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The man was startled when he saw the employee and fled, the report says.

The employee also told police that minutes before that incident, a car alarm went off in the parking lot. Officers found that the car had been broken into and rummaged through, but nothing was taken.

Later that morning police returned to the facility after two additional burglaries were reported involving vehicles parked in the garage of Bella Terra, in addition to one vehicle that was sprayed with the facility’s fire extinguisher, while a second extinguisher was missing.

In the meantime, police obtained Bella Terra’s surveillance footage that showed the suspect entering the facility’s garage a number of times and also showed the suspect removing the screen and entering one of the rooms through the window.

Officers found that three of the window screens were removed, but only the room with an unlocked window was entered, noting there was a shoe print left on the desk.

While one officer was working on the incidents at Bella Terra, another officer was working the rash of car burglaries at the Mesas just south of the care facility.

Later that day officers responded to the Chalet Motel at 664 E. St. George Blvd. on a report of a man who allegedly groped one of the motel’s employees and was allegedly attempting to steal from a number of rooms.

Officers spoke to the employee who reported being grabbed by a suspect while trying to clean one of the rooms and described him as an intoxicated Hispanic male about 25 years old wearing a black hoodie, gray sweatpants, a backpack and bleeding from his left eye.

Police located the suspect at the Sands Motel. He identified himself as Manygoats. While speaking to him, officers noticed a handgun in the open pouch of his backpack. It was later collected by police.

The firearm’s serial number revealed it was reported stolen in St. George two days prior. Police say the defendant knew it was stolen when he allegedly purchased it for $150.

While the defendant admitted he was at the Chalet Motel earlier that morning and to drinking alcohol the night before, according to the police report, he denied touching the employee but said “he was just trying to get money to get back to the ‘res.'”

While arresting Manygoats on a warrant issued in February, officers found a homemade pipe with burnt residue on it. He was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility for multiple offenses.

Meanwhile, officers learned of Manygoats’ arrest and realized he matched the appearance of the suspect seen in the surveillance footage from both Bella Terra and the Mesas. They were also able to match the shoe print taken from the desk at Bella Terra to a photo of his shoes taken by police during his arrest.

Manygoats allegedly admitted to stealing two firearms from one of the vehicles after he was shown a screenshot of the suspect entering the vehicle.

The Glock was recovered during his arrest while Manygoats told police the Baretta was at his sister’s house where officers later recovered it.

The report says he admitted breaking into other vehicles at the Mesas and pointed to various areas on a map where the incidents took place, claiming that other than the guns, he took only earbuds.

The record also says Manygoats claimed he was intoxicated during a majority of the offenses.

During an interview with officers on the Bella Terra incidents, he allegedly admitted to spraying a vehicle in the parking garage and taking a fire extinguisher from the property because he “planned on playing around with it.”  The fire extinguisher was later recovered by an employee who found it across the street in another business area.

The report says Manygoats also admitted to going into one of the Bella Terra offices by climbing through a window where he said he took juice and chips. When asked about going into the facility through a window and being startled by the employee, he said he did not remember the incident.

He also claimed to have no memory of going into any vehicles in the parking lot of the facility, but a closer inspection of the surveillance footage allegedly showed him in the parking garage when the vehicle was sprayed with the fire extinguisher while holding a gun in his hand.

However, Josh Dippre with Bella Terra contacted St. George News on Thursday and said no gun was visible in the footage that he viewed and later provided to police.

Dippre also reiterated that Manygoats did not threaten anyone nor did he present any type of weapon when he entered the room and then fled on foot after being spotted by the employee, which is consistent with the information included in the original report.

Dippre added the Bella Terra staff are “constantly training and have frequent drills to address security concerns and emergency situations.”

“You can never plan for everything, but we take security very seriously here at the facility,” he said.

According to the police report, Manygoats explained the reason he did all of this was “because he was intoxicated.”

The combined charges among the three cases include five second-degree felonies, which include two counts of theft, one count of theft by receiving and two counts of burglary of a dwelling, as well as one third-degree felony count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

He was also charged with 13 misdemeanors including 10 counts of vehicle burglary, one count sexual assault, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia along with a citation for consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Manygoats is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court on Friday at 2 p.m.

This report is based on statements from police or other 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.

Update March 16, 3:20 p.m. Includes comments from a Bella Terra representative.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

 

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