True Crime June 9, 2004 

This is the city. Boise, Idaho.

We live here.

The stories you are about

to read are true.

Fast times on Eagle Road

A high-speed chase in the early morning hours of June 1 ended with shredded tires and bruised egos for two local churls. Richard Navidad Hernandez, 20, and David Shifflett, 44, were well into burgling the Eagle residential development office Vision First when Ada County deputies arrived on the scene. The pair quickly departed, reaching speeds of over 100 mph along southbound Eagle Road in a vain quest for the freeway. The pursuit ended when deputies deployed spikes just prior to the suspects entering I-84 in the wrong direction. Driver Hernandez was arrested on charges making up the grand slam of smalltime thuggery: Eluding a Police Officer, First-degree Burglary, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. Passenger Shifflett was also charged with First-degree Burglary.

As officers discovered more about Hernandez, the mysterious object in his pocket (a gun) and the car in which he and Shifflett were attempting to hurtle down the wrong side of the freeway (stolen), an additional grand slam was added onto the already impressive docket: Violation of Probation, Grand Theft, Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Driving Without Privileges. Shifflett was additionally charged with Grand Theft.

A crime of convenience

Boise Police have arrested a man wanted for knocking over five convenience stores in three Treasure Valley cities. Jarome K Johns, 21, was targeted by a joint team of Nampa, Boise and Garden City detectives when officers confirmed that he was residing in a house on Libby Lane in Boise. Johns allegedly plundered three Nampa five-and-dimes, committed grand theft in Garden City, and recently robbed a Jackson's Convenience Store on Vista in Boise. Johns was arrested without incident, which proved quite convenient for officers.

Who trashed the trash?

On the night of May 29, two suspects entered the Ada County Landfill offices and inflicted upwards of $20,000 worth of damage upon office equipment and nearby dump-vehicles. The suspects broke windows, destroyed computers, cut equipment cables and may perhaps have even turned the office waste baskets over onto the floor. In addition to vandalizing two county vehicles, investigators have concluded that the one of the vehicles—possibly the big spiky-wheeled steamroller—was attempted to be used as a getaway car. A digital camera has since been confirmed to be stolen, but no other property is thought to be missing at this time. Investigators are still searching for any information that can aid in the apprehension of these rubbish ravagers. Dump dignitaries also warn that delays in landfill service may result due to the significant damage.

Books: the silent killer

A Connecticut man was sentenced to 33 months in Federal prison on Tuesday, June 1 after bilking $64,585 from at least 28 middle-aged gay men through an Internet scam possibly derived from a John Grisham thriller. Steven Smith, 43, posted several Internet advertisements posing as a 21-year-old gay man cut off by his parents and looking for older men to mentor him. When contacted, Smith told the men that he was in jail and needed to be sent money in order get out. The scam bears remarkable resemblance to the plot of the 2000 Grisham bestseller The Brethren, in which a trio of judges post fraudulent advertisements in gay magazines and solicit money from respondents. In court Smith told federal prosecutors that he had whiled away previous jail sentences largely by reading, but refused to say whether The Brethren had ever made its way into his cell-brary. Smith was ordered to pay back his victims, one of whom informed investigators of the fraud through a citizen complaint. Grisham has yet to comment on the role he may have played in the proceedings.

Tell BW your true crime stories: Call Cynthia Sewell at 344-2055 or e-mail

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