Police: Co-conspirator in jail after string of storage unit burglaries

Composite image, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — A man is facing multiple felonies for allegedly taking part in a string of storage unit burglaries reported in the Iron County area with a co-defendant who was arrested in March.

David Rodriguez, 45, of Cedar City, booking photo posted in Iron County, Utah, June 26, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

David Rodriguez, 45, of Cedar City, was arrested Wednesday by deputies and booked into the Iron County Jail. He appeared in court Friday on five second-degree felony counts of theft and single third-degree felony counts of burglary and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

In February, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into multiple storage unit burglaries in Iron County. Through the course of the investigation, police say they found evidence that Rodriguez was one of two suspects believed to be responsible for the burglaries.

When Rodriguez’ alleged co-conspirator, Aaron Tipler, was arrested March 3 and charged with numerous felony offenses, he provided information during police interviews that implicated Rodriguez in the burglaries, according the affidavit filed in support of Tipler’s arrest. Police state that this claim is supported by video evidence from multiple locations where the burglaries took place.

According to the affidavit, Rodriguez was with Tipler during the burglary of a storage unit on 500 North in Cedar City where video surveillance showed Tipler’s vehicle entering the facility. After allegedly breaking into one of the units, police say the suspects took a small safe and loaded it into the car, which was seen leaving the facility 20 minutes later.

The men allegedly managed to break into the safe after taking it to Tipler’s residence. Additional surveillance footage allegedly shows the pair returning to the storage facility to burglarize additional units, taking firearms, ammunition, silver coins, gold rings and personal identification documents.

Read more: Police: String of burglaries, thefts solved using GPS to track suspect

Through the course of the investigation, officers recovered some stolen items, including the safe and two firearms, but a number of them were never recovered.

During an earlier interview, Rodriguez allegedly denied being with Tipler and told police that a friend had his vehicle at the time it was seen in the surveillance footage. However, police say both men were together during a majority of the offenses, as evidenced by text messages sent between the two.

Charges were filed with the Iron County Attorney’s Office May 23, and after officers were unable to locate the Rodriguez, a warrant was issued for his arrest. On June 13 the defendant’s name and warrant information was entered into the National Crime Information Center, making the warrants extraditable out of all “Western states.”

The defendant remains in the Iron County Jail on $30,000 bail and is scheduled to appear for a bail reduction hearing in 5th District Court in Cedar City Monday.

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

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