The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department conducted an intensive week of raids and interrogations in Idyllwild that resulted in 12 arrests. The police operation began Monday, Aug. 20 in response to a rapid escalation of property crimes in greater Idyllwild over the last year. Hemet Station’s Lt. Dean Agnoletto coordinated the action. By Monday, Aug. 27, 12 individuals, mostly local Hill residents, had been arrested and charged.
Each person was charged with suspicion of having committed a violation of the law. Subsequent court proceedings determine whether there will be convictions on the charges.
“We are building a case on the local burglaries,” said Hemet Station’s Sgt. Jim Wilson. “There are more persons of interest out there and there will be more arrests. These people are damaging their own community and we are going to find them.”
Two arrested on the first day of the sweep are already entered in the judicial system in Superior Court records. The more recent arrests are not yet in the system. Daniel Plott, arrested Monday, Aug. 20 remains in jail on $25,000 bail, charged with felony violation of probation and a narcotics violation. His next scheduled court appearance is on Tuesday, Aug. 28 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Harry Dennis, arrested the same day was released after pleading guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia. He was sentenced to pay court charges and restitution fines totaling $200.
Additional arrests, through Monday, Aug. 27 include seven persons arrested for suspected felonies and three for misdemeanors (see box listing those arrested for felonies). The three misdemeanor arrests include two men from Idyllwild charged with being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and one man from Cabazon charged with being in possession of burglary tools.
Wilson said there further investigations could lead to future felony charges for those arrested for misdemeanors as well as arrests of additional persons of interest. “Other leads are being developed and this operation will continue to unfold,” he said. “It’s important the community knows these are the people who are casing properties that are being broken into.”
On Monday, Aug. 27 deputies met with Idyllwild realtors to update them on the growing crime wave and how to “harden” homes they have listed or represent in order to prevent break-ins and thwart potential burglars.
Hemet Station deputies have also begun recovering stolen property from at least one location and are notifying owners if the property carries owner identification. One of the steps Wilson recommends to help expedite return of stolen property is to etch or inscribe valuables with name and or California driver’s license number, or if the item is boxed, at least print identification information on the box. That information has already led to the return to some owners of recently stolen property.
Arrested on suspicion of committing felonies:
|Harry Dennis||26||Idyllwild||possession of stolen property|
|Micah Galusha||26||Idyllwild||possession of narcotic paraphernalia and forgery|
|Corey Haggerty||30||Idyllwild||possession of stolen property|
|Ray Hawkins||36||Idyllwild||possession of a controlled substance|
|Daniel Plott||43||Idyllwild||probation violation and narcotics violation|
|Jill Sabine||49||San Jacinto||possession of a controlled substance|
|Eilene Valenzuella||50||San Jacinto||possession of a controlled substance|
|Randy Weiss||40||San Jacinto||possession of a controlled substance|