A Pine Canyon man pleaded guilty to a pair of felony charges connected to the alleged stealing of construction tools from a truck and trailer in February in 3rd District Court on Tuesday.
Russell S. Hopper, 42, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony theft and third-degree felony criminal mischief. Charges of third-degree felony burglary and misdemeanor burglary of a vehicle were dismissed without prejudice as part of the plea deal with the state.
Dustin Bruce Clegg, 29, of Tooele, is also charged in the case, and faces the same original charges as Hopper did, as well as third-degree felony tampering with a witness.
A theft from a trailer and vehicle burglary were reported to Tooele City police on Feb. 6, according to a probable cause statement. About $5,000 worth of construction tools were stolen from a locked trailer, as well as fuel from a parked vehicle.
Video surveillance showed a white Dodge truck pull onto the property where the victim’s storage trailer and work truck were parked, the statement said. The video also showed two individuals at the property at the time of the theft.
The following day, Hopper was identified as the owner of the suspected truck, the probable cause statement said. During an interview with police, Hopper admitted to driving Clegg to the address where the theft occurred and stealing the gas from the truck.
Hopper also told police Clegg broke into the trailer and stole the tools, the statement said. Hopper said Clegg had the tools at his residence in Tooele.
When Clegg was interviewed by police, he admitted to storing tools for Hopper but denied any involvement in the burglary, the statement said. During the contact with Clegg, the officer observed several of the stolen tools inside the residence from the front door.
Tooele City police returned with a search warrant and all of the tools reported stolen were recovered from Clegg’s residence, according to the probable cause statement. The large tools were found in the front room and kitchen area, while smaller tools were found in Clegg’s bedroom.
On Feb. 12, Clegg called the victim of the theft and asked him to drop the charges against him, the statement said.
Clegg is scheduled to return to 3rd District Court for scheduling conference on June 25 at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Matthew Bates.