Multi-agency effort to recover stolen vehicles in Mesquite lands 4 in jail, including 2 from Utah

Composite image with stock image of Mesquite Police patrol vehicle, overlay of police badge | Background photo and overlay courtesy of Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two Washington County women were arrested in Mesquite, Nevada, after officers found the pair with a vehicle reportedly stolen from a dealership in St. George, while an Oregon couple was also arrested in a reportedly stolen vehicle in Mesquite two days before.

A Hurricane woman, 34-year-old Ashley Dawn Sorensen, and 29-year-old Hayley Durbin, of St. George, were both arrested for felony possession of a stolen vehicle, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor possession of stolen property and were transported to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas since the arrest involved felony charges.

L-R: Ashley Dawn Sorensen, 34, of Hurricane and Hayley Durbin, 29, of St. George, booking photos taken in Las Vegas, Nev., March 25, 2021 | Photos courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

The arrest stems from an incident reported on March 25 when officers in Mesquite responded to a local car dealership shortly after 2:30 a.m. Emergency dispatch had received a call reporting two suspicious individuals who appeared to be looking for cars to break into, Mesquite Police Sgt. Wyatt Oliver said.

Officers arrived to find two women hiding inside a parked vehicle and when asked for identification, both suspects provided officers with false information, according to a statement released by authorities.

Once the suspects were accurately identified, officers discovered that one of the women had an active arrest warrant out of Utah.

Through the course of the investigation, officers learned the license plate on the vehicle the females were found in was stolen.

Information gleaned while processing the scene led officers to a second vehicle parked nearby that both women were in possession of that was reportedly stolen from a car dealership in St. George.

Oliver said the details surrounding the second vehicle were still under investigation but said preliminary findings suggest the two suspects were directly involved in the theft in St. George.

Both women were arrested and during a search, an officer found suspected methamphetamine and paraphernalia on one of the women.

This is the second vehicle theft reported in Mesquite in just as many days. Two days prior, on March 23, an officer noticed a vehicle that appeared suspicious parked behind a local department store. According to the statement released by the Mesquite Police Department Friday, the officer ran the plate which came back as stolen.

L-R: Preston Leigh Allen, 28, Luz Maria Calderon-Diaz, 31, both of Portland, Ore., booking photos taken in Clark County, Nev., March 23, 2021 | Photos courtesy of the Mesquite Police Department, St. George News

Officers waited and once the driver and his passenger returned to the vehicle, they blocked the car in and detained the pair.

During a search of the woman, later identified as 31-year-old Luz Maria Calderon-Diaz, of Portland Oregon, officers found suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a credit card and an identification card, both of which were reported as stolen.

While searching the man, later identified as 28-year-old Preston Leigh Allen, also of Portland Oregon, officers allegedly found burglary tools and inside of the vehicle authorities allegedly recovered more methamphetamine and paraphernalia.

Officers also discovered that Allen had an active warrant out of California and he was arrested on the warrant and was also charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle and felony possession of methamphetamine. He also faces one gross misdemeanor count each of possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to issue check or draft without sufficient money as well as misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Both were also transported to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas facing felony charges.

Following the March 25 arrest, the Mesquite Police Department issued a statement involving the work that is being done to investigate and recover stolen vehicles – which is a multi-agency effort.

“As a reminder,” Mesquite Police Sgt. Wyatt Oliver said. “Please continue taking all necessary precautions to protect your own vehicle by ensuring the windows are rolled up, doors are locked at all times, and all valuables are removed from inside.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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