It’s not unusual for police to find odd or interesting things when they make traffic stops. But Twin Falls Police Sgt. Ryan Howe made a discovery Monday that will probably go down as his strangest.
The driver of the car Howe stopped was using his wife’s stolen purse and wallet as her own.
The discovery wasn’t totally unexpected, as Howe was looking for two men with connections to the car believed to be using his wife’s stolen credit card around town. But surely he wasn’t expecting the driver to actually be using his wife’s purse and wallet.
Here’s what led to the discovery:
Howe and his wife reported on Sept. 26 that someone broke into her car and made off with her purse, wallet, credit cards, driver’s license, phone charger and more. Howe reported the break-in likely happened on Sept. 22 or 23, and someone had racked up nearly $1,000 on the credit card at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, a gas station and local fast food restaurants.
Twin Falls Police Detective Ken Rivers took on the investigation, and in security footage from the businesses where the credit card was used he identified two men he knew from previous encounters.
They were Curtis James Kaneaster, 24, of Buhl and Isaiah Adam Johnson, 28, of Twin Falls.
Rivers asked a Twin Falls County Jail inmate about Johnson and Kaneaster, and the inmate confirmed the men had been buying “lots of stuff” with a stolen credit card. Rivers used that testimony plus the surveillance footage to get arrest warrants for the two men.
During the investigation, it also came to light that Johnson and Kaneaster typically traveled in a Pontiac G6 registered to Megan Ellen Rollins, 21, of Wendell. In fact, just days after the theft of the credit card, but before detectives connected all the dots, Kaneaster was pulled over driving the G6.
The arrest warrants were issued for the two men last Friday, and Sgt. Howe was patrolling on a motorcycle Monday when he spotted Rollins’ G6. Howe stopped the car for having too dark of a window tint and approached the driver, Rollins.
“Howe noticed that when Rollins removed her driver’s license from a wallet, that the wallet was actually his wife’s wallet that had been stolen in the vehicle burglary,” Rivers wrote in a sworn affidavit. “Sgt. Howe was able to immediately recognize the wallet and also recognized the purse Rollins had in her possession as belonging to his wife.”
Rollins told the detective the wallet and purse were a gift from Kaneaster, who was sitting in the passenger seat and was arrested on the warrant.
Rollins was also arrested after police found a methamphetamine pipe and bong in her car, court documents said. At the jail she admitted she drove Johnson and Kaneaster to some of the burglaries, telling them of a radar stolen from a car at the Magic Valley Mall and a GPS stolen from a car in another incident.
Johnson, Kaneaster and Rollins were all arraigned Tuesday in Twin Falls County Magistrate Court. The two men were charged with felony counts of burglary and grand theft, while Rollins faces a felony drug possession charge.
All are being held at the Twin Falls County Jail, Kaneaster in lieu of $20,000 bond, Johnson in lieu of $10,000 bond and Rollins in lieu of $50,000 bond. All are scheduled for preliminary hearings Oct. 14.