Two face prison in dirtbike theft
Two men face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine after each pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing two dirtbikes from a Gardnerville Ranchos residence.
Taylor Monge, 20, and Brian Hearold, 19, pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle in the Feb. 20 incident.
Prior to taking Hearold’s plea, District Judge Tod Young disclosed that he had represented Hearold in juvenile court proceedings prior to Young’s appointment to the bench.
Hearold, his attorney Kris Brown, and District Attorney Mark Jackson said they had no objection to Young hearing the case.
In exchange for the guilty pleas — to which both defendants had to agree — the state dismissed one count of burglary, and won’t file a second charge of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
The defendants also agreed to pay $1,500 restitution. They are eligible for probation.
According to reports, a resident in the 1300 block of Rancho Road reported a burglary in progress on Bluerock shortly after 10 p.m. Feb. 20.
The witness said he noticed three males loading what appeared to be a motorcycle into the truck and heard one man say, “Hurry up.”
Deputies contacted the homeowner who said two dirtbikes were missing.
Shortly after midnight, a deputy noticed three subjects in the parking lot of the Tillman Lane 7-Eleven, one pushing a dirtbike.
One was identified as suspect Hearold and two juveniles.
Hearold reportedly told the deputy the bike was his, and he rode it to the store to buy cigarettes, but could not get the bike started again. The deputy confirmed the bike was stolen through the vehicle identification number.
Hearold reportedly changed his story, and claimed he and a juvenile were at a Patricia Drive address, and Monge pushed the bike up to the residence.
He claimed Monge said he got the bike from an open garage, and there was a second bike. He denied having anything to do with stealing the bikes.
One of the juveniles reportedly said Hearold was involved in the bike thefts. Monge was taken into custody along with three juveniles, and the bikes were returned.
Young set sentencing for May 14 and advised the defendants that their behavior while out of custody would indicate whether he should send them to prison.
Monge said he would be living with his grandfather and looking for work. He told Young he hadn’t had a job for a year, and had been “couch-hopping.”
Jackson requested that Monge be on an ankle monitor while under the supervision of the Department of Alternative Sentencing.
“Monge had a prior adult arrest for possession, he was determined to be the most culpable in that he launched the idea and was found to be in possession of a motorcycle at the time of arrest and he had a prior failure to appear a year ago when he was a victim and a witness. He wasn’t in any trouble then,” Jackson said.
Young denied the request, saying he would rather have the money for the ankle monitor going toward restitution.
“If you don’t want to go to prison for five years, you need to demonstrate to me between now and sentencing you have something to offer society other than stealing people’s stuff,” Young told Monge.