SHELLEY — Two California men arrested in January in connection with a string of Pocatello job site burglaries have now been connected to at least one similar burglary in Shelley.
New felony charges of grand theft and burglary, one count of each, have been filed against 21-year-old Jobsan Enoc Garcia Baca and 57-year-old Oscar Orlando Herrera.
Deputies with the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office were contacted by a job site manager regarding a Jan. 14 theft, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The victim told deputies that approximately $9,356 worth of tools had been stolen from a locked trailer at the construction site. A witness told investigators that a white van was seen leaving the area around the time of the reported theft, according to the affidavit.
After learning of an arrest made by Pocatello police on Jan. 15 in which the suspects were found driving a white van, Bingham deputies contacted Pocatello officers.
On Jan. 26, Pocatello police contacted the Bingham deputies to inform them that the two incidents had been connected using tool serial numbers. Among the many tools found in the possession of Garcia Baca and Herrera was one that had been identified as a rental paid for by the Shelley victim, the affidavit says.
The Shelley victim was later able to identify other tools found in the van.
Garcia Baca was charged with five counts of grand theft and one count each of burglary and malicious injury to property following the original incident. After pleading guilty to two counts of grand theft — without a plea agreement — all other charges were dismissed on Feb. 24. New felony charges of grand theft and burglary connected to the Shelley incident were filed on Feb. 28.
He remains in Bannock County Jail on $50,000 bond — with several requests for release on his own recognizance being denied by 6th District Judge Javier Gabiola.
Herrera was charged with five counts of grand theft, one each of burglary and malicious injury to property and a misdemeanor for providing false information to an officer.
After reaching a plea agreement, Herrera pleaded guilty to two counts of grand theft. Like Garcia Baca, all other charges have been dismissed.
He was released on his own recognizance on Jan. 25 by Magistrate Judge Eric Hunn.
Herrera also had additional charges of grand theft and burglary filed on Feb. 28.
Each grand theft charge carries with it a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Burglary charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
Both men are scheduled to be sentenced for the original charges on April 25 — Herrera by 6th District Judge Robert Naftz, and Garcia Baca by Gabiola.