Teens held without bond in Orchard Mesa spree

A pair of 17-year-old boys suspected in an crime spree across Orchard Mesa were ordered held without bond Wednesday after a judge labeled both “dangers to society.” And the mothers of the boys concurred with that decision.

“I go to bed, and he sneaks out. He refuses to go to school,” the mother of Michael Moore told Mesa County Magistrate Cynthia Cyphers. The woman asked Cyphers to order her son’s continued detention.

“I don’t know what else to do at this point,” she said.

Moore and Caleb Hovland were arrested Tuesday and are being held at the Division of
Youth Corrections on suspicion of a host of felonies, including first-degree arson, criminal mischief and first-degree auto theft, in connection with incidents Monday and Tuesday that left tens of thousands of dollars in damage at numerous locations across Orchard Mesa.

During Wednesday’s detention hearing, Deputy District Attorney Brandy Ellis told the judge that neither Hovland nor Moore are attending school, and both have a history of suspected drug involvement. They also recently completed juvenile probation, but Ellis declined to discuss the nature of the boys’ prior juvenile offenses.

“(Hovland’s mother) has indicated she does not feel safe with him at home,” Ellis told Cyphers.

Moore and Hovland were arrested early Tuesday after crashing a stolen Subaru Legacy at 29 Road near Victoria Drive, according to an arrest affidavit.

During interviews that followed with investigators, both teens admitted involvement in Monday’s burglary at Trinity Baptist Church, 2748 B 1/2 Road, along with a burglary May 9 at the Orchard Mesa Little League facility, 2787 U.S. Highway 50, as well as Tuesday’s theft of the Subaru Legacy, according to the affidavit.

“(Moore) admitted he and Caleb took turns driving the vehicle, but stated it was Caleb who drove recklessly and caused the damage to a sign post, and crashing it into a fence,” the affidavit said.

Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras on Wednesday said investigators had linked the pair to eight car break-ins between Monday and Tuesday.

“We expect that number to grow,” she said.

According to the affidavit, Moore and Hovland claimed to have entered “about 20” cars parked east of Trinity Baptist early Monday.

District Attorney Pete Hautzinger on Wednesday said he hasn’t decided if he’ll press adult charges. During Wednesday’s hearing before Cyphers, Hovland’s mother said she hoped prosecutors will do just that in her son’s case.

“Juvenile charges didn’t work,” she told Cyphers.

Moore and Hovland are scheduled to return to court next week.


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