UPDATE: As of Wednesday, Oct. 16, the St. Johns Police Department is no longer seeking Alyssa McReynolds and Jacqueline Chavez in connection to this investigation.
ST. JOHNS – On Saturday, Sept. 28, the St. Johns Police Department was busy taking reports of burglaries of vehicles along the 5th North Block near 15th Place West. Within just a week, however, a search warrant was issued, suspects were apprehended, and stolen property was recovered.
Most of the thefts from vehicles and property occurred between Sept. 25-28, but the burglaries went back as far as Aug.26, when the first report of its kind was taken from the 7th West and 3rd South area of town. Officers in the St. Johns Police Department watched vigilantly for the stolen items to show up in local pawn shops, and within a few days, they found what they had been looking for: suspects had pawned some of the stolen goods at a pawn shop in Show Low. Using that information, a warrant was issued and served on Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. for a residence on the 200 block of South 9th West. Two additional warrants were also served on the residence to recover more items as additional reports were filed from victims who had property missing from the area.
Three suspects were arrested as a result of the investigation. Julian Rice was arrested on charges of burglary, theft, trafficking of stolen property, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing, and misconduct involving weapons. A 16-year-old juvenile was detained under the same charges and referred to juvenile court. Dillion Graf was also arrested and charged with numerous crimes relating to the thefts, including burglary and trespassing.
As of Oct. 3, Alyssa McReynolds and Jacqueline Chavez were also being sought in connection to this investigation, and the St. Johns Police Department has asked that if anyone knows their whereabouts, to please contact the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns Police Department, or WeTip.
Property from four burglaries has been recovered and will be returned to victims, but other items — which were pawned at the same time and by the same individuals — have been identified by one of the suspects as also being stolen. No reports have been made for the additional stolen property, so Chief Spivey asked that residents in the area check their vehicles, garages, and properties for any missing items and report any suspected thefts to the St. Johns Police Department so they can return the stolen goods to their rightful owners.
“If it wasn’t for the hard work and investigative fortitude of Sgt. Trett Bishop and Sgt. Ty Bond, this property might not have ever been recovered,” Chief Spivey said in a press briefing. “But thanks to their efforts, they were able to solve these cases and hold the people accountable for the crimes they have committed.”
The investigation is still ongoing as the department continues to sift through the evidence obtained through search warrants. Additional charges may still be forthcoming.
(UPDATE, 10-16: St. Johns Police are no longer seeking Alyssa McReynolds and Jacqueline Chavez.)
Amber Shepard is an local journalist covering municipal governments and other Apache County topics.