SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYO – Three California men suspected in a felony-grade theft in Uinta County were captured on I-80 by county deputies on December 13.
Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell said Nicolas Ricardo Araya Acuna, 34; Jovanny Alain Boza Gonzalez, 31; and Giovanni Antonio Lopez Valencia, 27; all of Reseda, California; are charged with Wrongful Taking/Disposing of Property.
Lowell said that around 2:16am on the December 13, county officers were advised that dozens of Apple iPhones had been stolen from Wal-Mart in Evanston. They were tracked digitally to a location on I-80 west of Green River, traveling east.
Deputies were provided photographs of the suspects, and a description of their vehicle—a small, black four-door hatchback or SUV. Deputies set up an ambush near the Green River tunnels where they spotted the vehicle and stopped it. The suspect vehicle, a dark Audi SUV, was driven by Araya Acuna Boza Gonzalez and Lopez Valencia were passengers.
Also found in the vehicle was a duffle bag containing boxes of various Apple products. Deputies had been advised that the stolen mobile phones had an audible anti-theft feature that had been activated. They noted a “chirp” noise coming from the duffle bag.
Lowell said the three men remain in custody at the Sweetwater County Detention Center in Rock Springs as the investigation continues.