Burglar ordered to help recover items
July 17, 2012
A 19-year-old Carson City man was ordered Tuesday to cooperate with law enforcement in an effort to recover items he stole from an Indian Hills residence just three weeks after the victim moved from Southern California.
District Judge Dave Gamble placed Guillermo Arroyo Hernandez on three years probation, suspending a 4-year prison sentence.
“Burglars don’t often get probation, especially in burglaries like this,” Gamble said.
Hernandez admitted breaking into the residence on Nov. 17, 2011, through a bedroom window while the homeowner was at work.
The victim reported the loss of a laptop computer, 26-inch television, digital camera, 1893 Spanish Mauser rifle and 12-gauge bolt action shotgun.
None of the items was recovered. Hernandez was arrested after a neighbor witnessed the car in the driveway, and took down the license plate number.
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The judge said he granted probation because of Hernandez’s age, support of his family and the defendant’s drug and alcohol use.
“I believe some of these activities are rooted in addiction,” Gamble said. “If you have been an alcoholic and used marijuana, that means substances besides yourself are running your life. This isn’t something you outgrow. You need to address this every day of your life.”
He ordered Hernandez not to associate with people whom he fears. The defendant had refused to identify any of his associates until Tuesday, or say what happened to the stolen items.
The victim testified Tuesday that he’d moved to Indian Hills from Temecula, Calif., where his home had been burglarized in 1998.
“I don’t think I was three weeks in the house before this happened,” he said. “I almost feel like I’m trapped in my house again.”
He said the laptop was full of personal information and family memories, and the firearms had historic value to him.
“On behalf of the entire state of Nevada, I apologize to you,” Gamble said. “This is not typical.”
Gamble told the victim he would be at cross purposes to sentence Hernandez to a lengthy prison term as the man requested.
“Our system is far from perfect,” Gamble said. “Usually, it’s an either-or-situation. If I send him to prison, there’s almost no chance you will get restitution. If I keep him on probation, I have control.”
Attorney Derrick Lopez said he had a cashier’s check for more than $1,600 raised by the defendant’s family for the victim over what he received in insurance claims.
“His desire is to make up for what he’s done,” Lopez said. “He wants to pay his family back and make something of himself.”
He said Hernandez was taking college classes and attending Bible studies.
Hernandez apologized to the victim.
“I am really sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever it takes to make it right. For the past few months, I have been putting my life together. I hope I can continue it,” Hernandez said.
Gamble ordered Hernandez to pay $2,000 restitution plus $500 in fees above what is covered by his insurance.
He is subject to search and seizure, must abstain from alcohol and controlled substances and undergo substance abuse evaluation and counseling.
“You must make every effort in conjunction with law enforcement about the location and disposition of items, naming names – anything to recover that property,” Gamble said. “The word ‘probation’ means to prove. This is your opportunity to prove that I shouldn’t send you to prison.”