On August 13, 2015, YCSO deputies were dispatched to a mining site located south of Highway 69 at the south end of the town of Prescott Valley regarding a possible arson and burglary. Prescott Valley Police and Central Yavapai Fire personnel were already on scene and indicated there had been an arson fire along with criminal damage and theft at the site.
The victim/site manager told deputies he left the site the day before, August 12, 2015, about 3 PM, and when he returned the next day at 7 AM, he saw a fire near one of the cargo trailers. He initially noticed intentional damage to a backhoe and that several pieces of mining-related equipment had been stolen.
Fire officials found evidence indicating at least two fires were intentionally started on site. The suspects entered the fenced area by forcing their way through at least 2 padlocked gates to access the mining site. Along with the backhoe, several other pieces of equipment were vandalized costing thousands of dollars in damage. YCSO evidence technicians were called to the site to assist with the collection of evidence and photography documentation.
Some of the items stolen include a 15 ton jack, several “Dayton” brand ‘come alongs’ (aka lever chain hoists), a “Honda” brand water pump, electric pump, welding helmet, 5 gallon gas can with fuel, tie-down straps, grease guns, 18 and 24 inch pipe wrenches, and a load leveler hitch. The value of these items was not listed in the initial report.
Detectives have developed some leads over the course of the investigation but also desire anyone with information to call YCSO Detective Todd Swaim at 928-554-8605, or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1800-932-3232. Callers to Silent Witness are eligible for a cash reward if their tip leads to an arrest.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov