ADOT officers assist local law enforcement in two northern Arizona arrests

PHOENIX – In addition to protecting Arizonans and infrastructure by ensuring commercial vehicles are safe to drive on the state’s highways and have proper permits, Arizona Department of Transportation officers manning commercial ports of entry coordinate with local law enforcement agencies. That partnership paid off during the past week near St. George, Utah, and in Kingman where ADOT officers helped apprehend suspects in cases involving rape and theft.

On Sunday, an ADOT Enforcement and Compliance Division officer inspecting a semi at the St. George port of entry learned, while determining whether the driver’s commercial license was valid, that the driver, Thorpe G. Steel, was wanted in Utah for rape.

Stalling for time, the ADOT officer told Steel to wait in the port of entry office while he conducted a walk-around inspection of his truck. The officer contacted Utah State Troopers and continued to stall until a trooper arrived and arrested Steel.

On the evening of February 6, two individuals broke into a Kingman man’s home and stole his 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser and other items. Around noon February 7, two ADOT officers stationed at the Topock port of entry on I-40, heading back from training in Kingman, spotted what appeared to be the vehicle heading in the opposite direction.

Once they verified it was the vehicle, the ADOT officers contacted Kingman police dispatch as well as ADOT dispatch. Both ADOT and Kingman officers pulled the vehicle over on Stockton Hill Road, and the suspects were arrested without incident.

Victim of Kachina Village homicide identified

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Sheriff’s office has identified the victim of the February 9 homicide in Kachina Village. The victim is 53-year-old Timothy Scott Larson, a resident of Kachina Village.

The incident is still under investigation and no additional information is available at this time.

If anyone has information regarding the incident, please contact the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-338-7888 (option 1 to speak to a Dispatcher or Deputy) or 928-774-4523 (option 1

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Homicide in Kachina Village

FLAGSTAFF – On Friday February 9, 2018, at 4:40 pm, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to Gambel Oak Trail in Kachina Village after receiving a report of a fight in progress. Deputies located an unconscious male who was later pronounced dead. One suspect is in custody and the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

On February 9, 2018 at 4:40 pm, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a resident in the Kachina Village community reporting what the person believed to be a fight in progress taking place on Gambel Oak Trail, a street located behind the caller’s house. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area and located an unresponsive male lying in the middle of the roadway on Gambel Oak. The victim was being guarded by an aggressive dog which was ultimately removed from the scene by a neighbor who knew the dog.

Deputies on scene performed CPR on the victim until Highlands Fire personnel arrived on scene and continued lifesaving efforts. Lifesaving efforts were not successful and the subject was pronounced deceased.

During lifesaving efforts, deputies were able to identify a possible suspect. The suspect was ultimately taken into custody and booked into the Coconino County Detention Facility on one count of Homicide 2nd Degree.

The suspect is 28-year-old Collin Tarr of Kachina Village. He is being held on a $1,000,000 bond.

No other suspects are believed to be involved at this time. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation. Further information will be made available as it is available.

Busy Monday morning for first responders

WILLIAMS – A busy, cold morning for first responders began with the Williams Fire Department responding to a fire at the Newpac Lumber yard at 675 Garland Prairie Road in Williams at about 4:50 a.m. The Williams Fire Department called for the assistance of the Sherwood Fire Department early in the fire and, with the workers at the Newpac Lumber yard, battled the blaze until about 9:10 when the fire department began overhaul procedures.The Williams Fire Department continually sprayed foam on the burning logs as the workers used cranes to move logs. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

A slight veil of smoke covered I-40, but the impact of visibility appears to be minimum. No injuries were reported.While the fire department was fighting this, the Ash Fork Fire Department, Department of Public Service and Lifeline Ambulance responded to a one-vehicle roll-over at mile 149 on I-40 at about 8:20 a.m. Fortunately no serious injury was reported. An investigation is ongoing.

Two mule deer does poached near Nelson Reservoir

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of two mule deer does.

On Saturday morning, December 23, 2017, the does were illegally killed on Forest Road 8058, west of Highway 191 and south of Nelson Reservoir. One doe was taken from the field and the other was mostly left to waste.

Investigators are seeking information about a maroon or red truck with a silver or gray stripe along the lower frame of the truck, which is believed to be associated with this crime.

“We need assistance from the public to find the individuals responsible,” said AZGFD law specialist Nancy Huser. “This is the action of a criminal, who stole wildlife assets and resources from the people of Arizona and must be brought to justice.”

There was a lawful, open cow elk hunt going on at the time of the poaching. Investigators hope hunters and recreationists who were in the area may have valuable information about the crime.

Anyone with information about this case can call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700 or visit www.azgfd.gov/ogt and refer to case #17-004986.

Callers may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 in this case. An additional $500 reward is being offered by the Mule Deer Foundation upon arrest and conviction of the poachers. All caller identities will remain confidential upon request.

Sheriff’s investigation reveals evidence of carbon monoxide in death of four

PARKS – Yesterday investigators from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office employed the assistance of a professional, licensed heating/cooling service provider to investigate the heating system of the cabin in which four people were found deceased yesterday.

The contractor found a significant failure in the heating system which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence. The heating unit was the only gas appliance in the home. This provides additional evidence regarding a possible carbon monoxide related event.

The manner and cause of death is still to be determined by the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to recommend that people install not only smoke detectors, but also carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These need to be tested and inspected at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals. The heating/cooling industry generally recommends that heaters are inspected yearly.

If you have questions regarding your heating/cooling system,
you are urged to contact a certified heating/cooling expert to check your system. If you use wood stoves, be sure these also are annually serviced and cleaned.

Family of four found deceased in Parks

PARKS – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in Parks, Arizona for a welfare check and discovered four deceased subjects inside the home.

On January 1st at 12:26 pm the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a friend of a family that was staying at a residence in Parks. The caller said family members had been trying to contact them for a few days with no success and had become concerned. The Reporting Party requested a welfare check on the family.

At 1:17 pm, a Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy from the Williams Substation arrived at the residence in Parks, AZ. The Deputy located a vehicle matching the description given by the caller in the driveway of the cabin reported to belong to the family.

After approaching the cabin, the Deputy reported a strong odor of gas coming from the home. Additional units were requested, and Ponderosa Fire Department was notified and asked to respond.

At 1:43 pm Ponderosa Fire units arrived on scene. Fire personnel put on protective breathing equipment to enter the residence. They located four deceased individuals inside the residence.

They are identified as 32-year-old Anthony Capitano, 32-year-old Meaghan Capitano, 4-year-old Lincoln Capitano, and 3-year-old Kingsley Capitano of El Mirage, AZ.

At this time, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as possible carbon monoxide poisoning. The Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting further investigation.

Elk poaching investigated northwest of Williams

WILLIAMS – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a bull elk, which occurred on Sunday morning, December 17.

The elk was shot and left to waste in Game Management Unit 10 along U.S. Forest Service road 6, south of Martin Draw northwest of Williams. There was not a lawful bull elk season going on at the time and the elk was shot with a large caliber rifle behind the shoulder.

Investigating officers are seeking information to locate two individuals last seen wearing orange hats that may have left the scene in a low-profile Nissan Titan pickup truck accented with chrome.

“This crime isn’t the act of an ethical, responsible hunter. It is the action of a criminal,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Noah Silva. “Poaching is a crime. These people are stealing wildlife from the citizens of Arizona and we need those who have information to come forward to help bring these criminals to justice.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/ogt. Callers should provide case number 17-004934 and may remain anonymous upon request, and all identities will be kept confidential.

A reward of up to $1,500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

Elk poaching near Flagstaff investigated

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a bull elk, which occurred the evening of December 3. The bull was found north of Route 66 off Rain Valley Road on the east side of Flagstaff near Picture Canyon.

The elk was shot and left to waste in Game Management Unit 11M, where no elk season was going on at the time. Investigating officers believe the elk was shot from a vehicle on Rain Valley Road.

“We are hoping residents in the area remember seeing a vehicle or hearing a gunshot near sundown on December 3 and can provide vehicle or suspect descriptions,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Colby Walton. “We believe someone knows about this poaching and we would like them to come forward with information.”

Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/ogt. Callers should provide case number 17-004775 and may remain anonymous upon request, and all identities will be kept confidential.

A reward of up to $1,500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

Information sought in deer poaching case near Bagdad

KINGMAN – The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking information about a recent poaching of a deer near Bagdad, Arizona.

The doe was shot in the neck on or about October 28 and left to waste near Hardy Schell, a stock tank northwest of Windy Ridge in Game Management Unit 18B. AZGFD is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.

“Evidence was collected at the scene, but help from the public will play a critical role in finding those responsible,” AZGFD Wildlife Manager AJ Lander said. “This is not the act of a hunter. Poaching is a crime. It is stealing wildlife from the citizens of Arizona. It is important for anyone with information to come forward and help Game and Fish bring those responsible to justice.”

An investigation is ongoing, and wildlife officers are seeking information about a 1980’s model two-tone blue and grey Ford Bronco. Two male individuals are believed to be involved.

One man was described as being in his 60s, with black curly hair and an overweight build. This individual was seen wearing black coveralls, similar to what a mechanic would wear, and is believed to be the driver of the Bronco. The other subject was also described as being in his 60s, with a slimmer build and was seen wearing blue jeans and an orange hunter hat.

Officers are asking anyone with information about the person or persons responsible for this crime to come forward.

Anyone with information about the case can call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 and provide case number 17-004326 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/ogt. Callers’ identities will be kept confidential, and people can report anonymously if needed.

To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit www.azgfd.gov/ogt.