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Devil’s Den Burglarized

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January 17, 2011 by wcobserver

One Arrested; More Arrests Expected

Staff Report

WEST FORK- One West Fork man has been arrested and several others have been identified as persons of interest in connection with a burglary that occurred at Devil’s Den State Park on Dec. 21.

Zachary Priesmeyer, 21, of 192 Ann Street in West Fork was arrested on Dec. 28 on felony charges of theft by receiving after he reportedly tried to pawn a number of items that had been reported stolen by Devil’s Den State Park the week before.

According to Priesmeyer’s arrest report, he admitted to knowing the items were stolen and said he purchased them from a friend for $30 on or about Dec. 23.  The report listed the items in Priesmeyer’s possession as four Garmin GPS units, a 35 mm Nikon camera with several lenses and two sets of binoculars valued at about $2000.

“We just got lucky up here; a pawn shop called us,” said Sgt. Brett Hagen of the Washington County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Unit.

Hagen said that Priesmeyer has been very cooperative and they expect to make arrests connected to the actual burglary soon.

“We will press charges and prosecute,” said Monte Fuller, Park Superintendent at Devil’s Den State Park.

Fuller said he called the Washington County Sheriff’s department about 8 a.m. on Dec. 21 after a park interpreter reporting for work found a locked door to soda machines and restrooms at the park’s visitor center pried open.   A door leading into the park interpreter’s office had also been forced open and  Fuller estimates $7000-$8000 worth of electronics and animal hides were stolen.

Three soda machines throughout the park were also pried open and money boxes emptied according to the sheriff deputy’s report.

Fuller said a park ranger was on duty until midnight; he believes the burglary occurred sometime between then and 7: 45 a.m.

Fuller said he and his crew inventoried stolen items and worked with the sheriff’s office to get their serial numbers  posted on the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).   On the list of stolen items were two laptop computers, 10 GPS units, a laser printer, the 35 mm Nikon camera and lenses and 11 animal hides.  Fuller said the GPS units were on-loan for an educational program the park recently conducted and the animal hides were also used for educational purposes.

Anyone with information about this burglary should call the Washington County Sheriff’s office at 444-5700.

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