Suspect tells police ‘coronavirus’ is reason he broke into several vehicles

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A local man appeared in court on multiple felony charges after he was allegedly caught rummaging through a vehicle by a citizen who called 911 early Sunday morning. While the suspect told police his actions were due to financial straits during the coronavirus pandemic, a search of his criminal history reveals a string of similar incidents.

Kevin Victor Ontiveors, 28, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, March 29, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Kevin Victor Ontiveors, 28, of St. George, appeared in 5th District Court via video. He faces 11 third-degree felony counts of unlawful acquisition of a finance card and seven misdemeanors, including two counts of possession of another’s identifying documents, three counts of vehicle burglary and two counts of theft.

The charges stem from an incident Sunday shortly before 6 a.m. when officers were dispatched to a residence in the 600 block of East Tabernacle on a report of a vehicle theft.

The caller told dispatch a man was found rummaging around inside of a vehicle and was still at the scene and was reportedly “compliant,” the officer noted in the statement.

Upon arrival, officers found several individuals at the scene and were directed to a pickup truck the suspect – later identified as Ontiveors – was sitting in.

While being questioned by police the suspect said “he was hurting for money and did not know how he was going to pay for rent,” the officer recounted in the report.

“Kevin said the CoronaVirus had put him and his wife out of work and he was struggling,” the officer noted.

The suspect also told police he purposely came to that location to burglarize vehicles, and during a later statement, police say Ontiveors told them he burglarized a total of three vehicles.

The suspect also told officers he grabbed several items from the vehicles, including a wallet, a pair of AirPods, cash, mail, keys and debit cards, several of which were found on the suspect during a search after his arrest.

Ontiveors went on to tell the officers he had to make his rent payment of $800 and that he had never done this before, the report said. Officers also said that he told them “he knew he made a mistake.”

Once in custody, officers searched the suspect and recovered 11 bank cards and two government-issued ID cards.

Aside from the financial cards, another $1,000 in property was allegedly taken during the three incidents, and Ontiveors was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and charges were filed the following day.

Despite the suspect’s assertion he had never done anything like this, a search of court records reveals this is not his first brush with the law.

Earlier this month Ontiveors pleaded guilty to misdemeanor shoplifting charge from an incident reported in Washington City on Feb. 6. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card and one count of misdemeanor vehicle burglary in July for a 2016 case. The remaining charges in that case were dismissed.

In another 2016 case filed in  Utah County, Ontiveors pleaded guilty to four felony counts of unlawful acquisition of a financial card and misdemeanor vehicle burglary. In all, the defendant has 19 separate cases involving multiple charges and convictions throughout Utah dating back to 2008.

The suspect remains in jail in Washington County on $67,720 bail.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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