Police: Homeowner throws frozen water bottle at fleeing burglar

File photo of a Washington County Sheriff's Office vehicle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A man was arrested for suspected burglary in New Harmony Monday after police found him in his residence just next door to the alleged victim.

On Monday, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a residential burglary in New Harmony. 

Upon arrival, the homeowner told deputies that he observed a man leaving through the front door of his residence carrying two pillowcases full of items allegedly taken from the home along with the owner’s TV, which was sitting near the front door when the resident pulled up, according to charging documents filed in support of the arrest.  

The homeowner also told officers that he recognized the suspect as 24-year-old Kristoffer Michael Robison, his next-door neighbor. He also told police he found a hat and a pack of cigarettes inside the residence, presumably belonging to the suspect.

The resident also explained that he threw a water bottle at the suspect as he fled the residence, adding that Robison fought with him and then “left the property and returned to his residence, which was next door,” the deputy recounted in the report, adding it was actually a detached building located adjacent to the main residence.  

Kristoffer Michael Robison, 24, of New Harmony, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, July 27, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St George News

Meanwhile, a background check revealed that Robison had a warrant for his arrest issued out of Washington County on a misdemeanor assault case from 2018. He was also wanted for questioning in connection with an unrelated case involving the theft of a laptop computer. 

Deputies then walked next door and found the suspect who was then placed under arrest and questioned by police.

The suspect admitted the cigarettes and hat found inside the neighbor’s residence were his, police say, and admitted to taking items from one of the bedrooms. Robison was subsequently transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling and the warrant out of Iron County. 

At Robison’s residence, deputies found a woman, 26-year-old Haley Swany, who was living with the suspect. She was also transported to jail on a $5,250 warrant issued out of Iron County in connection with a felony theft case filed in January.

In the meantime, officers obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s residence. Deputies allegedly recovered a black Motorola cell phone, a Samsung laptop computer, marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and multiple syringes and other drug paraphernalia during a search of the suspect’s bedroom.

Deputies returned to the jail and advised Robison that multiple misdemeanor charges were being filed in the case in addition to the burglary charge, including theft, multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance, and possession of paraphernalia. 

Haley Swany, 26, of New Harmony, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, July 27, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St George News

He was also charged with one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property for the laptop computer recovered during the search, which was allegedly taken during an unrelated incident.

Swany was also charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, as well as possession of paraphernalia.

Swany’s warrant, issued out of 5th District Court in Cedar City, involved a third-degree felony theft case filed in January after the defendant failed to appear at a hearing scheduled the following month. Monday’s report also listed prior arrests for Swany, including a 2017 case in which the suspect was charged with one felony count of unlawful acquisition of a financial card and vehicle burglary.

The case was filed after officers were called in to investigate a vehicle burglary and debit card theft reported by a homeowner that allowed Swany and another individual to live with them temporarily while Swany got back on her feet, according to court records. 

Less than three weeks later, the reporting party awoke to find the suspect gone. And when he went out to his vehicle, he discovered that cash and his debit card were missing as well.  He also learned there were two attempts to use his debit card the night before, the second one of which was from a business in Overton, Nevada where the suspect’s family lived. 

She pleaded guilty to the charges the following month after the felony was downgraded to a misdemeanor charge under the terms of a plea agreement. The defendant was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail on the charges, while both jail terms of 365 days were suspended. 

The following year, she was arrested by officers in Santa Clara on drug possession charges in May 2018, for which she pleaded guilty two months later. She was placed on 24-months supervised probation and given credit for the 60 days she served while the case moved through the courts.

Robison remains in custody on $16,800 bail, while Swany is being held on $10,510 bail.

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

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