Two people arrested in connection with burglary at $ 15,000 construction site

Travis James Schmidt | Bannock County Jail

POCATELLO – Two men from Pocatello were arrested following a burglary at a construction site where more than $ 15,000 of tools and equipment were stolen.

Travis James Schmidt, 30, was arrested on July 9 after allegedly pawning a drill matching the one stolen from a toolbox at the Pocatello High School construction site. He has since been charged with burglary, court documents show.

Police reports from Pocatello show officers were contacted about the thefts by a plumbing and HVAC company around 9 a.m. on July 6. The alleged burglary occurred between 4 p.m. on July 2 and 8:45 a.m. on July 6, according to an affidavit of probable cause. . Company officials told officers someone walked through a barrier at the construction site, walked into the construction area and took many items from a company-owned toolbox.

Among the missing items were a Hilti hammer drill, several other drills and bits, a grinder, saws, batteries and chargers, as well as scrap copper. The total value of the items is well over $ 15,000, according to the affidavit.

While notifying local pawn shops of the stolen items, officers were told that a Hilti hammer drill matching the description of the stolen one had been pawned around 10:30 a.m. on July 5.

Officers matched the serial number of the pawned drill to the one that had been reported stolen. The item was returned to the company.

The pawnshop provided officers with the identification of the woman who brought the stolen drill for the pawnshop, adding that she was accompanied by a man, later identified as Schmidt.

Police were contacted again by the pawnshop on July 9 with information that the couple had returned.

Officers arrived and approached the couple for questioning.

The woman told officers she was unaware of the theft, explaining that Schmidt told her he got a new job with a local contractor and was upgrading his tools. She told officers she pledged the exercise for Schmidt because he did not have a valid ID. She was allowed to leave without being arrested.

Schmidt told officers he found the drill “hidden behind bushes” along the railroad tracks near the Bannock highway. After seeing video of the burglary, Schmidt “bowed his head,” according to police reports, then admitted to being present and assisting in the theft.

Stephen Lee factory | Bannock County Jail

He told officers he was joined by a man he knew as “Steve” inside the site, and the two had been chased away by a man he knew as “Mark”.

Schmidt was arrested and incarcerated in the Bannock County Jail.

Officers identified “Steve” as 29-year-old Stephen Lee Plant. As of July 16, the identity of “Mark” has yet to be confirmed, although officers have suspects.

Officers responded to Plant’s residence, receiving permission from the homeowner to search the property. No connection between Plant and the heist was found during the search, but Plant was taken into custody after officers found him in possession of drugs.

He was taken into custody at Bannock County Jail and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

If both men were found guilty of the current charges, Schmidt could face a prison sentence of one to 10 years and fines of up to $ 50,000 while Plant could face up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $ 50,000. to $ 15,000.

Schmidt is due in court for a preliminary hearing on July 20. Plant is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 19.

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