TWIN FALLS — A Twin Falls man has been charged in a January crime spree that included multiple home invasions and a slew of car burglaries.
William Williams, 43, was arraigned Wednesday on 17 counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft, two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and three counts of criminal possession of a financial transaction card.
Williams is accused of breaking into at least three homes and 14 cars in Twin Falls County between Jan. 19 and Jan. 22. He also confessed to holding a homeowner at gunpoint during an armed home invasion in Jerome County on Jan. 23, according to a police affidavit.
Most of the Twin Falls County victims said they did not personally come into contact with the burglar, only noticing in the morning that someone had broken into their car or garage overnight. But a few victims did see him.
One couple reported waking up around 3:30 in the morning to find a man in a ski mask in their bedroom, according to court documents. They said the burglar ran out of the house when the husband confronted him.
Another victim, whose car was burglarized, said she was outside having a cigarette late at night when a burgandy SUV pulled into her driveway. The woman told police that a man in a ski mask jumped out and opened the door to her car; when she yelled out to him, he ran back to the SUV and quickly drove away. That victim also reported seeing a woman in a ski mask in the SUV with the burglar.
Two guns, several power tools, and an array of wallets were among the items reported stolen throughout the spree. One of the guns, a .38 revolver, was taken from a truck belonging to a Twin Falls sheriff’s deputy, according to an affidavit.
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Williams later confessed to police that he had stolen multiple cars throughout the week and used them to carry out the burglaries.
Detectives connected Williams to the crime after a credit card stolen in a Twin Falls home invasion was used at Cactus Pete’s Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. A man had also attempted to use the card at a gas station owned by Cactus Pete’s, according to an affidavit.
Surveillance footage showed the man in the casino using a player’s card registered to William Williams. Police tracked Williams’ phone to the hotel, where Elko County deputies arrested him as he was trying to leave.
As he was leaving the hotel but before he was confronted by police, Williams threw a bag in a trash can, the deputies said. The bag turned out to be filled with bank cards, credit cards, driver’s licenses and social security cards belonging to burglary victims in Twin Falls County.
When questioned by police, Williams admitted stealing multiple cars, burglarizing vehicles, and breaking into houses, according to an affidavit. He told police that he got into garages — and, in some cases, houses — by breaking into victims’ cars and using their garage door openers.
At the time of his arrest, Williams was staying in a room at Cactus Pete’s rented by a woman named Samantha Anderson, according to an affidavit. When questioned by police, Williams did not say that Anderson was involved in the burglaries and appeared to be “protective” of her, police said.
Williams has been jailed on a $500,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 18.