WELLS — Three suspected thieves caused major damage to an elderly man’s home after breaking a window and leaving his front door open in the freezing cold, according to Elko County Undersheriff Clair Morris.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported theft from a gift shop at a Wells gas station. They found William R. Maupin, 24, and Keri Rash, 28, both of Pahrump, in the parking lot of a different gas station nearby.
The couple had a pickup truck full of items suspected stolen, including rifles, shotguns, ammunition and tools, which were linked to a home burglary about 10 miles northwest of Wells.
“An elderly gentleman lives there. They broke into his house. They took his four-wheeler, tried to steal his truck, got it stuck,” Morris said. “There’s evidence that his gun safe was broken into.”
Deputies were still trying to contact the victim, who has been out of town.
Law enforcement were still sorting through confiscated property and couldn’t assess the value at the time of print. However, the damage to the victim’s home is substantial.
“The house is frozen,” Morris said. “Snow blew in the front door. All the pipes, the toilets, the sinks are frozen.
“That’s the thing that irritates us the most,” Morris said.
Deputies took some plywood and fastened it to the broken window to try to keep the cold out.
After interviewing the initial suspects, a third suspect, Raymond R. Stedman, 26, of Elko, who authorities believe was involved with the burglary, was arrested.
Investigators don’t think the burglars knew the victim. Morris said evidence suggests they staked out the house for some time before breaking in.
All three were booked into the Elko County Jail. Maupin was arrested for burglary, petit larceny and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $6,274.
Rash was arrested for burglary, petit larceny and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Her bail was set at $6,374.
Stedman was arrested for burglary and possession of stolen property. His bail is $10,000.
Morris said as the investigation continues, additional charges could be filed.