San Juan County, NM - On July 13, 2013 San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies received a tip from a salvage yard. “We were called by a salvage yard that they had an individual attempting to scrap a nice pontoon boat,” explained Deputy Gary Mauldin. “The salvage yard owner also told us that the individual said he would like to bring in three more boats for salvage. The salvage yard suspected the boats were possibly stolen and gave us a call.”
Deputies responded to the salvage yard and met with the individual attempting to scrap the boat. “He told us that the boat had been sitting on his property for years, and that he had lost the title,” said Mauldin. “Having no proof at that time that the boat was stolen, we let him leave the premises, but we continued to investigate.”
During the investigation, deputies determined that five boats, five boat trailers and numerous aluminum and steel scrap pieces were stolen from a variety of owners out of Navajo Marina dry storage. “Working with State Parks at Navajo Lake and San Juan County Detectives, we were able to locate the suspect responsible,” said Mauldin.
The suspect was identified as Jeffrey Whisenhunt, age 49 of Bloomfield, NM. “Thanks to State Parks and Detectives, we not only located the suspect, but we were able to locate all the stolen boats and trailers,” explained Mauldin. “We were able to return these stolen items to their rightful owners in usable condition. It is always a great feeling when you can return someone’s stolen property to them.”
When asked about Whisenhunt, Maudlin stated that he has “an extensive criminal career and is being held on a $ 600,350 bond”.
Whisenhunt was charged with:
- Two counts of Forgery (3rd Degree felony)
- Unlawful taking of Motor vehicle (3rd Degree felony)
- Four Counts of Larceny (4th degree felony)
- Possession of burglary tools (4th degree felony)
Numerous additional felony charges on Whisenhunt are pending.