Tag Archives: California Highway Patrol

Bishop Man Arrested for Vandalizing Tri-County Fairgrounds

On January 2, 2020, the California Highway Patrol received a call about an individual who was vandalizing property at the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds. CHP Officer, Adam Otten arrived on to the scene, and saw signs of multiple break-ins around the property.

After inspecting the damage to the buildings, Officer Otten located the suspect’s backpack, bicycle, drug paraphernalia, and methamphetamine. The alleged vandal had abandoned his items, and was found hiding in a nearby bathroom at the Tri-County Fair.

At the same time the property crime was occurring, the highway patrolman was called to another emergency in the area, and had to leave the suspect in order to respond. When CHP returned to the scene, officers located the suspect hiding in the RV storage area of the fairgrounds.

After locating the individual, Otten observed signs that the homeless suspect was living in multiple trailers without the consent of the owners.

The suspect was identified as 29 year old male, Thomas Burkins. He was arrested on the charges of felony burglary, vandalism, possession of burglary tools, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation.

Burkins was previously arrested on similar charges relating to burglary, vandalism, and possession of drugs in the middle of December 2019.

Winter Storm Causes Multiple Accidents Over Thanksgiving Weekend

The California Highway Patrol conducted its annual Maximum Enforcement Period for the Thanksgiving holiday between November 27 to December 1.

During this time, there were quite a few reported collisions in both Bishop and Bridgeport CHP’s jurisdiction. The combined amount of total crashes in the four day period was twenty-three.

The Bishop Area CHP reported thirteen total accidents, with three of them involving injury. Out of the thirteen total crashes, eight of them were non-injury collisions. Additionally, nearly every reported accident was weather related.

The California Highway Patrol in the Bishop area also documented three DUI arrests during the MEP, with one DUI crash occurring.

As for the Bridgeport Area CHP, their office reports that during their Maximum Enforcement Period, they had ten accidents. Surprisingly enough with all the inclement weather in the Eastern Sierra, none of the reported accidents involved injury.

Although there were only three DUI arrests through the Thanksgiving holiday period in the Eastern Sierra, that number skyrockets when looking at the statewide statistics. In the first thirty hours of the MEP, there were a reported 314 arrests involving impaired driving. Additionally, eight people died in collisions because of driving under the influence during the four days.

Truck Brake Fire Causes Paint to Spill Near Sherwin Grade

A semi truck caught on fire on early Tuesday morning. The incident took place on Sherwin Grade in the southbound lane of U.S. Route 395. As a result, there was a partial shoulder and lane closure. The semi truck caught on fire as a result of the brakes igniting as the vehicle traveled down the grade according to the California Highway Patrol.

Although initially the fire was toward the front of the cabin, flames eventually spread toward the trailer, which contained a large quantity of paint. The paint subsequently spilled all over the highway, which required a hazmat crew to arrive on scene and clean up the incident.

The cleaning crew brought out a pressure washer to clean the roadway along with a vac truck to help with the cleaning. Crews also brought bins to dispose of all the burnt materials and soil.

Both lanes of Highway 395 are now open with no restricted access.

Woman Arrested in Poverty Hills Area After Crashing

A woman was arrested Thursday after a vehicle spin-out in Poverty Hills.

22 year old, Kianna Hoops from Reno, Nevada was driving a gray Honda Accord south of Big Pine when she lost control of her vehicle for an unknown reason and spun out.

When Hoops lost control of her vehicle, CHP arrived on the scene to investigate the accident. While conducting an inspection, the officer checked inside the vehicle and discovered a lever action firearm as well as a small amount of drugs.

After running the serial number, the officer determined that the firearm was not registered to Hoops, and was stolen.

Kianna Hoops was subsequently arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was detained and booked at the Inyo County Jail. Her bail is set for $15,000.

Tecopa Search and Rescue ends with Recovery of Remains

Inyo Search and Rescue mission ends as a recovery

April 6, 2016
By Arnie Palu

A nearly month long search for a missing Carmel man ends with the discovery of remains near Tecopa.  83-year old James “Billy” Liles was know to frequent the southern Inyo County area.  Liles was first reported missing in early March.  On Monday, Inyo County officials verify that remains found near Tecopa have been identified as James Liles.  A full autopsy will be conducted as the Inyo County Sheriffs Department continues their investigation.

Inyo County Sheriffs Department Statement:

On Friday April 1st Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that human remains had been located near Tecopa. Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies as well as the south-county coroner responded and transported the remains to Lone Pine. Tuesday morning, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the south-county coroner that the remains have been positively identified as missing person James “Billy” Liles (83-year old man from Carmel, CA).
Inyo County Sheriff’s Office launched a search for Mr. Liles following a report that was received on the evening of March 11th that a cellular phone was found in the desert east of Tecopa (the cellular phone was identified as belonging to James “Billy” Liles). Ground teams from Inyo County Search and Rescue and BLM combed the Tecopa area, and aerial reconnaissance was provided by CHP helicopter H-80. Mr. Liles was not located and the case remained opened.
A full autopsy will be performed out of county to determine cause of death. The Sheriff’s Office is still asking the public to please contact us at 760-878-0383 if anyone has any information that may assist us in this case

Photo courtesy of the Inyo County Sheriffs Department.
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Big Pine woman arrested following Sunday Crash

CHP arrests Big Pine resident after Sunday Crash south of Bishop

By Arnie Palu
March 14, 2016

A 41 year old Big Pine woman, Sara Vance, was placed under arrest for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence following a Sunday traffic collision.  According to the California Highway Patrols Collision report, Big Pine resident Sara Vance was behind the wheel of a northbound 2013 Toyota when it collided with a traffic sign on Highway 395 at Collins Road.  The collision occurred at 12:30 Sunday afternoon.  Vance sustained what were described as minor injuries including cuts to her right arm.  The California Highway Patrols report indicates, “Upon arrival on scene the driver was evaluated, found to have minor injuries, and subsequently placed under arrest for suspicion of DUI.  The collision is still under investigation.”

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CHP Testing Dispatchers in Bishop

CHP is offering rare local dispatcher test

submitted by the California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will accept applications until February 19th, 2016, from individuals interested in a career as a CHP dispatcher in Bishop.  This is an opportunity to serve alongside and dispatch for some of California’s finest who provide the highest level of safety, service and security throughout the state.  A career with a law enforcement agency like the CHP offers unlimited opportunities and benefits for someone who is looking for a challenge.

The Bishop CHP Communications Center has vacant positions needing to be filled with qualified men and women from diverse backgrounds who are committed to carrying out the CHP’s mission and making a difference in their communities.

Those interested in applying, or seeking additional information, are invited to an informational meet and greet on Thursday, February 4th, 2016, at 6:00 PM at the Bishop CHP Office, 469 S. Main St.  Interested parties may contact Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor Nancy Lauber at 760-872-5909 Monday through Thursday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, or at nancy.lauber@chp.ca.gov.  Additional information can be obtained by visiting www.chp.ca.gov/CHP-Careers/Public-Safety-Dispatcher

To be considered, candidates must be a US citizen or meet employment eligibility requirements, have no felony convictions, type no less than 40 words per minute, and meet the minimum work history requirements.  Each applicant will be required to complete a selection process including a written test, background investigation, medical evaluation and psychological evaluation. 

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CHP offering “Start Smart” program

New CHP “Start Smart” Program

submitted by the Bishop Office of the California Highway Patrol

California has the second highest fatality rate nationwide, involving drivers between the ages of 15-20.  To help combat this growing problem, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is conducting a Start Smart presentation for teens and their parents.  This program is specifically geared toward reducing collisions and injuries involving teen drivers.  This innovative program is called “Start Smart, Driving Smart to Stay Safe”.

Who: Officer Dennis Cleland, guest speakers and other members of the Bishop CHP.

What: Start Smart Campaign to raise awareness regarding senseless collisions involving newly licensed drivers.

When: Wednesday, January 13, 2016, at 5:30 pm.

Where: Bishop Area CHP Office
469 S. Main St, Bishop, Ca 93514

This is a new and improved course that is offered free of charge to all drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 and their parents.  Please register at the Bishop CHP Office by January 12th.

This class includes graphic footage of real collision scenes.

If you have any questions please contact Officer Dennis Cleland at (760)872-5960.

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Arrest Made In Fairgrounds Embezzlement Case

Former CEO Sally Symons Arrested

Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy Released the following statement today:

Sally Ann Symons Arrested on Embezzlement Charges

District Attorney Investigators arrested former Tri-County Fair CEO Sally Ann Symons on embezzlement and misuse of government funds charges this morning (Monday, November 30th) after she voluntarily surrendered herself at the District Attorney’s office in Bishop. The District Attorney has filed a complaint alleging three felony counts: Misappropriation of Government Funds, Embezzlement of Government funds, and Grand Theft. The Complaint alleges that the acts took place between August, 2014 and September, 2015, while Ms. Symons served as the Chief Executive Officer for the fair. The complaint follows an extensive investigation conducted by the California Highway Patrol Inland Division Investigative Services Unit. Because the alleged crimes involve the theft of state property and were alleged to have occurred on the grounds of a state facility, the CHP handled the initial investigation.

Ms. Symons was booked at the Inyo County Jail and posted a $25,000.00 bail bond. She was ordered to appear in the Inyo County Superior Court in Bishop on January 6th,  2016 for formal arraignment on the charges.

On October 22nd the California Highway Patrol released the following statement:

In July of 2015, the California Highway Patrol, Inland Division Investigative Services Unit, initiated an investigation into the possible embezzlement of funds from the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  During the extensive investigation, CHP investigators determined Bishop area resident Sally Ann Symons, 46, embezzled funds belonging to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair.   On October 21, 2015, Symons, who is a former employee of the Tri-County Fair, was detained and transported to the Bishop Area CHP office for questioning.  The CHP report containing the embezzlement and other various charges will be submitted to the Inyo County District Attorney’s office for review.

In 2013, the CHP investigated a similar embezzlement case involving the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  Both investigations are unrelated.

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Fair Board Meeting

Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair board meeting Thursday

A regular meeting of the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair board is set for Thursday, November 5th in the boardroom of the main office at the Bishop Fairgrounds.  The meeting of the 18th district agricultural association (fair board) will begin at 1pm.

Thursdays agenda includes the staff managers report from Suzanne Wolfsberger-Gruwell.  Suzanne will cover events that have been happening at the fairgrounds since the last board meeting and will provide the exhibit report.

Ben Barlow will deliver the maintenance report and an update on the main arena timing clock.

Thursdays agenda also includes a Fair wrap-up looking at attendance, finances and the fair survey.

A executive session is scheduled to look at personnel matters including litigation with former CEO Sally Symons.  As the 2015 Tri-County fair was starting up, then CEO Sally Symons was asked to step down.  Symons worked as CEO from March of 2014  until Sunday, September 6th.  According to a statement from the California highway patrol….”In July of 2015, the California Highway Patrol, Inland Division Investigative Services Unit, initiated an investigation into the possible embezzlement of funds from the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  During the extensive investigation, CHP investigators determined Bishop area resident Sally Ann Symons, 46, embezzled funds belonging to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair.   On October 21, Symons was detained and transported to the Bishop Area CHP office for questioning.  The CHP report containing the embezzlement and other various charges will be submitted to the Inyo County District Attorney’s office for review.”
As of today (Tuesday, November 3rd) Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy confirms that his office is yet to receive the report.

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