Over the weekend of January 17-19, Mesquite was bustling with car enthusiast attending the Mesquite Motor Mania event, players and spectators here for the UYSA Soccer Presidents Cup, and the normal flow of visitors in and out of Mesquite. The streets were filled with traffic, no vacancy signs posted in hotels, and restaurants were filled to capacity. The Mesquite police were busier than normal with their duties, which always accompany these events.
On the evening of Friday January 17, calls of service related to property crimes began pouring in and continued hammering the phone lines throughout the weekend. Twenty one property related crimes ranging from multiple stolen vehicles, vehicle, residential, and commercial burglaries, property damage, merchandise thefts, and even stolen bicycles, were perpetrated throughout the city. Mesquite Police Detectives were called out to process crime scenes and Patrol Officers were placed on high alert.
On Sunday, January 19, an alert Patrol Sergeant spotted a suspicious van near the entrance to a gated community. As the Sergeant attempted to maneuver his patrol vehicle around the landscaped median, the suspicious van fled at a high rate of speed, resulting in the driver losing control and crashing. By the time the Sergeant arrived at the site of crash, the driver had fled on foot into the darkness of the night. The Sergeant discovered the van had been recently reported as stolen. The crashed van was found filled with property stolen from recent burglaries. An investigation of the crash scene led Detectives to multiple leads with possible suspects.
In the early morning hours of Monday, January 20, more calls reporting property crimes lit up the phone lines. Patrol Officers and Detectives quickly continued collecting evidence, which led to officers locating stolen property hidden throughout the city. Shortly after noon, an observant patrol officer discovered a male adult acting suspicious in a local business parking lot. The male was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle from St. George, Utah. The vehicle in his possession was filled with items that were stolen throughout the weekend from Mesquite homes and businesses.
The adult male was identified as Jeffery Paget, 21, of St. George, Utah. He was placed under arrest and charged with: burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, ex-felon in possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen credit cards, obtaining/possessing a credit card without consent, receiving stolen property, theft, destruction of property, grand larceny, theft from a motor vehicle, and possession of controlled substance/methamphetamine. Additional charges against Paget relating to the crimes are pending.
Further investigation has established Paget was not working alone. The Mesquite police department (MPD) has identified a second suspect as Robert Trask, 53, of Tucson, Arizona. MPD is actively seeking Trask for questioning. MPD requests citizens be on the lookout for Trask, who is described as a Hispanic male, 6’00”, 200lbs, brown hair, brown eyes, and possible brown facial hair (see attached photo). If Trask is located or seen, immediately contact Mesquite Dispatch at (702)346-6911.
Chief of Police Troy Tanner credits the resolution of this weekend crime spree, due to the cooperative effort between Patrol Officers and Detectives. Chief Tanner said, “With the sheer number of cases we investigated this weekend, it takes numerous man hours from the beginning to the end to ensure justice is served and stolen property is returned to the rightful owner.” Chief Tanner also acknowledged that investigations are continuing with the incident and more arrests may be imminent.