MESQUITE, Nev. -- A St. George man faces burglary charges in two states after being arrested last week in connection with close to two dozen different thefts.
Mesquite police say in a three-day period, from Jan. 17-19, dispatchers received reports of 21 different burglaries.
“Even though we had a busy weekend here in Mesquite, the calls were much more elevated than normal,” said Mesquite Police detective Sgt. McQuade Chesley. “Residential burgs, business burgs, vehicle burgs, stolen vehicles and then property damage on top of that.”
The massive crime spree occurred the weekend of the Mesquite Motor Mania and the UYSA Soccer President’s Cup. Chesley said detectives examined each crime scene, and the evidence eventually led them to 21-year-old Jeffery Paget, of St. George.
Chesley said officers connected him to the burglaries and arrested him on Jan. 20. He had one of the stolen cars and much of the stolen property.
Then police went looking for his partner, 53-year-old Robert Trask. He was found several days later, close to 500 miles away.
“Tucson, Arizona police department located him,” Chesley said. “And he was in or around one of the vehicles stolen out of Mesquite.”
The pair hit several businesses, one of them, the Bulldog Self-Serve Car Wash. Owner Tony Pezely says they found severe damage to their automatic wash, and while nothing was taken, he said the machinery required repair, and they lost three days of business.
“I guess he was just trying to hide out from the cops,” says Chesley. “He thought he could get inside that automatic bay with his trailer on there, and just hide out from the cops overnight.”
Pezely said Paget smashed machinery, and eventually cut the power, but through surveillance video, detectives were able to get a positive identification on Paget and the vehicle he was driving.
Chesley said one of the concerning parts of the crime spree is the suspects had ready access to many of the burglaries. Now they’re warning residents to be alert.
“[The cars] were all stolen with the keys,” Chesley said. “So if we can lock up our cars, make sure our keys aren’t left in the ignition, make sure our garage doors are closed, take those necessary precautions in order not to become a victim.”
Chesley said they believe they've recovered most all the stolen property, but are still investigating all the reported burglaries, even looking into the possibility of other suspects.
Paget is also linked to various burglaries that occurred in the St. George area.