Victim catches thieves in action

A quick-thinking dirt bike owner didn't let himself become a victim of a crime Monday when he found his stolen motor bike, chained it to a tree and waited for the thieves to return.

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies responded to the 4700 block of Burton Lane in Denver after the dirt bike owner, Lance Markevitch, called 9-1-1 to report that he and his neighbors apprehended two suspects who allegedly stole the man's dirt bike Sunday and hid it near the man's home.

Markevitch found his dirt bike hidden under a pile of leaves after several suspects reportedly stole the vehicle from inside a garage and broke into several outbuildings near the residence. He decided to chain the bike to a tree and wait for the thieves to return and take the vehicle.

Markevitch and his neighbors were watching the bike Monday about 8:45 p.m. when a Kia Spectra with several people inside approached the area.

Two suspects from the vehicle were detained by Markevitch and his neighbors, while three other suspects left the scene in the Kia.

Sheriff's deputy D. Richard stopped the vehicle about two miles away on Webbs Road in Denver. Deputies arrested Candice Renne Swanson, 16, of Denver; Travis Wayne Payton, 20, of Sherrills Ford; and Jesse Thomas Meffert, 18, of Denver.

They are charged with three felony counts of breaking and entering a building, one felony count of larceny and possession of stolen goods and two misdemeanor counts each of injury to personal property. The charges relate to incidents that allegedly occurred at homes in the 4700, 4800 and 4200 blocks of Burton Lane in Denver.

Swanson, Payton and Meffert are being held under $20,000 bonds each.
The two people detained by the bike owner and his neighbors were released and don't face charges in the case.

One of the suspects in the case got away, and warrants were issued for the arrest of Sage Lawson Thomas Owings, 17, of Denver. He is described as a 5-foot 9-inch white male with black hair and brown eyes. He weighs about 150 pounds.