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Middle school students admit burglaries

Michael Schneider

Five Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School students charged in a rash of vehicle burglaries in the Gardnerville Ranchos appeared before District Judge Michael P. Gibbons Thursday to admit counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Brian Hilliard, 13, Eric Hilliard, 15, Adam Suschena, 15, William Garand, 14, and Daniel Chaney, 14, each admitted the charges. Counts of grand larceny and petit larceny will be dismissed if the boys all pay joint and severed restitution for each crime in which they participated.

Deputy District Attorney Derrick Lopez said the amount of restitution owed for the burglaries is $1,398. The total could go down if more stolen items are recovered or up as Lopez said there may be four additional victims.

The amount of restitution the boys are being held responsible for ranges from $200 for Garand who was involved in the fewest incidents, to $1,398 for Chaney who the DA’s office said participated in all the burglaries.

Lopez said the boys will all be held responsible for restitution due to pleading to the conspiracy charge.

“It’s the same group and they’re doing the same exact behavior,” said Lopez. “It was just chance who went out on what night.”

Although the DA’s office will not recommend a commitment to either the youth center in Elko or to China Spring for any of the boys, Lopez will recommend suspended commitments for both Suschena, who is being held responsible for $993 in restitution, and Chaney.

This despite Chaney’s mother’s pleas that her son was not as involved as the court believes, saying he only went out with the other boys on three of the five nights while some others went out four or five nights. Chaney’s mother said he admitted to all the burglaries the investigating officers questioned him in regard to because he was angry.

“Some nights I did say no,” said Chaney to Gibbons. “I heard the rocks hitting my window but went back to sleep.”

Brian Hilliard only participated in one night’s crimes, but will be held responsible for at least $617 pending possible recovery of a stolen camera and discovery of the additional four possible victims.

“I was the lookout,” said Brian. “I heard about it and decided to do it. It was stupid.”

Eric Hilliard will be held responsible for $842 in restitution also pending the discovery and possible recovery of the additional items and victims.

Eric said he didn’t know why he participated in the crimes saying he basically got nothing out of the burglaries.

“I did at one time, but then I returned all that I had,” said Eric.

“I entered the vehicle,” said Suschena of one burglary. “I took a CD player and a camera.

“I didn’t need the property. It was stupid.”

Until their disposition, the boys were all ordered to remain on house arrest as they have been since there release from the detention center in Carson City after their first court appearance May 12. Gibbons warned each boy to stay out of trouble and to begin to get some money together.

Lopez said that as long as each boy agrees to pay restitution, if any is owed, to the four additional victims just now coming forward, no additional charges will be filed.