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Wed, April 08

Red Lake house sitters arrested on theft charges

RED LAKE, Ariz. - A Coconino County couple faces a variety of charges in connection with thefts from homes they were house-sitting.

Sheriff's deputies and detectives arrested 58 year-old Steven Melvin and 59-year-old Kathryn Melvin on charges of stealing jewelry and other items while house sitting for other residents of the Red Lake area off Highway 64 north of Williams.

A Red Lake resident told Coconino County sheriff's deputies she had hired the Melvins to house sit on several occasions beginning in November, 2011. In July of 2012, after coming home from vacation, the victim noticed Kathryn Melvin was wearing a watch that belonged to her. Eventually Kathryn admitted that she had taken the watch from the victim's home and she then returned it.

The victims did an inventory and found that numerous pieces of jewelry and other collectible items were missing. They confronted the Melvins about the additional missing items and the Melvin's produced three single gallon sized zip lock bags full of miscellaneous watches. Kathryn Melvin allegedly instructed the victims to look at the watches to see if any of them belonged to the victims. According to the victims none of the watches in the bags belonged to them. Steven Melvin subsequently returned fives watches that did belong to them but failed to explain how he and Kathryn came into possession of them. The victims placed a total value of approximately $1,000.00 on the five watches.

Detectives conducted an inquiry to determine if either of the Melvins pawned any items. Records indicate that Steven Melvin had pawned two items at a local pawn shop. The transactions occurred approximately one week after the suspects were confronted by the victims.

One of the pawned items led investigators to a second victim who confirmed that the Melvins had also house sat for her. Eventually detectives contacted a third victim, who also lived in the Red lake area and who had also allowed the Melvins to house sit for her.

During the service of the search warrant, detectives also found hundreds of narcotic medications in pill or tablet form that appeared to be packaged in individual envelopes, with an accompanying ledger giving the appearance that the narcotics were prepared for individual sale. Detectives also located numerous items of jewelry and other collectables that were not identified by the three victims as belonging to them.

Steven Melvin was arrested for two counts of felony trafficking in stolen property and two counts of misdemeanor theft. Kathryn Melvin was arrested for one count of felony theft, four counts of felony possession of narcotic drugs for sale and one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Individuals who live in the Red Lake area and who may have engaged the Melvins to house sit for them are asked to contact Coconino County Sheriff's Detective Mark Pierz at (928) 226- 5039.

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