Elko police captain arrested in attempted larceny
August 25, 2008
ELKO ” An Elko city police captain has been placed on leave with pay following his arrest for allegedly attempting to steal equipment from a closed mining operation, authorities said.
Aaron Hughes, 36, was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of attempted grand larceny following the incident at the Jerritt Canyon Mine, Elko County Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said security guards at the mine found Hughes’ truck with a trailer, and saw a man sitting on an all-terrain vehicle belonging to the mine around 1 a.m. Sunday.
The guards said the man jumped off and hid when approached before they found him and confronted him, Gonzalez said Monday.
The man, matching Hughes’ description, gave the security officers a different name and indicated he was a recently laid-off Jerritt Canyon employee who had returned to retrieve property, Gonzalez said.
The security officials let the man leave, Gonzalez said, but then found damage to the ATV from improper removal from a trailer. Another security officer also found an ATV parked on a mine road, the location “inconsistent with where it was supposed to be,” Gonzalez said.
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Security contacted law enforcement with a description of the man and license plate information from the truck, which was registered to Hughes. The truck was stopped at approximately 5 a.m. Sunday about 11 miles south of Jerritt Canyon.
Hughes was questioned and denied wrongdoing, but officers determined there was probable cause to arrest him, Gonzalez said.
Elko Police Chief Don Zumwalt said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” in Hughes’ alleged actions. Besides the criminal investigation, which is being handled by the sheriff’s department, Zumwalt said there will be an internal investigation.
Gonzalez said the investigation is ongoing and will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office when complete.