Hurricane officers link trespassing suspect to robbery in California

Stock image of a Hurricane Police vehicle in Hurricane, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Hurricane Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A trespassing call led to the arrest of a suspect who is being held without bail after officers discovered the arrestee was wanted on a robbery case in California.

Stock image taken Jan. 4, 2022 | Photo courtesy of the Hurricane Police Department, St. George News

Officers were dispatched shortly after 9:30 a.m. Sunday to what was initially reported as a trespassing call from a residence in Hurricane. But when they arrived, officers learned the homeowner had asked the man to leave. He reportedly refused and was still inside the home. 

Officers asked the suspect, who was found in one of the bedrooms, to leave the house. The alleged intruder then told police to  “make him leave,” the officer noted in the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest. 

The report also alleges that as officers entered the room, the suspect got up and started towards the officers, making “physical actions of fighting.”   

After a short scuffle, the suspect continued to resist and began spitting on the officers while being taken into custody. The man was later identified as Herlin Genaro Cortes, 37, of Mesquite, Nevada. 

Meanwhile, officers determined the suspect’s vehicle was reportedly used during a robbery in California. 

During a search of the vehicle, officers recovered several items reportedly taken during the California robbery. Investigators advised local officers that Cortes had been identified as the robbery suspect, adding they were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant. 

Consequently, officers requested that Cortes be held without bail to allow California investigators to obtain the warrant in their robbery case. 

The suspect was booked into jail facing four misdemeanor charges that include one count each of assault on a police officer, propelling a bodily substance, criminal trespass and theft. 

In the meantime, officers in Hurricane were following up on an unrelated case involving a report of a vehicle theft not in progress, which was filed by the reporting party prior to the arrest in St. George. 

When emergency dispatch ran the tag, officers learned the car that was reported as stolen was registered to the person reporting the theft, which turned out to be Cortes. 

The theft report was later confirmed through the National Crime Information Computer which also listed the car as stolen. 

Officers also learned the vehicle contained a large amount of cash and a stash of firearms, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition that were inside the alleged stolen vehicle.

On Sunday, officers learned that Cortes was in jail following an altercation with police on the trespassing call, and they also learned that the vehicle in question was one street over from where it was reported as stolen. The car, investigators discovered, was parked at the home of one of Cortes’ relatives. 

At that point, the report states, “It was confirmed that the vehicle that was reported stolen was never actually stolen.” Following the investigation, and with the suspect already in custody, a third-degree felony charge of providing a written false statement was added to the list of charges that were forwarded to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review. 

The suspect is in the custody of the jail in Washington County on $5,000 bail at this time. 

This report is based on statements from court records, 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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