For Immediate Release
PR #:1900068
Date Issued:Jul 25, 2019 - 11:16am

Washoe County Sheriff's deputies arrest fourth suspect in wire theft investigation

CONTACT:Bob Harmon
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Office 775-785-6235
Cell 775-722-5517

Washoe County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the fourth suspect in a months-long investigation of a rash of copper wire thefts from power poles in the north valleys earlier this year.

The suspect, Nicholas Hodgerney was arrested on Saturday, July 20, and booked into the Washoe County Detention Facility on multiple charges, including Grand Larceny, 1st Degree Burglary, and Destruction of Property.

Three additional suspects in this investigation, Harry Hodgerney, Roxanne Renee Pemberton, and Walter Vernon Higgins, were arrested in mid-March. However, Nicholas Hodgerney continued to elude investigators.

Sheriff’s detectives and patrol deputies persisted with the investigation. Gathering information and following leads until they were finally able to locate the suspect hiding out in a residence on North Virginia Street.   

At approximately 5:30 p.m. on July 20, 2019, deputies set a perimeter around the residence and hailed for Hodgerney to surrender. Hodgerney exited the residence and surrendered to deputies without further incident.

“I appreciated the perseverance of every person who diligently attempted to locate this suspect over the past four months,” Sheriff Darin Balaam said. “Their hard work is a perfect example of how well our teams work together so that a wanted fugitive can be brought to justice.”

Background:

The investigation began on March 5, 2019 when a Sheriff’s Office patrol deputy noted damage to utility poles along the dirt extension of N. Virginia Street between North Red Rock Road and White Lake Parkway. Evidence showed that wires on these poles had been intentionally cut.

Similar damage was discovered on utility poles in the same area on March 7. On March 15, similar damage was discovered on utility poles located in the area of Seneca Drive and N. Virginia Street.

At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 17, a Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputy observed a vehicle parked in the area where the damage was discovered on March 15. A female was sitting in the vehicle. She was later identified as Roxanne Renee Pemberton, age 35, of Reno.

Pemberton was unable to provide a credible explanation as to why the vehicle was parked there, or as to the whereabouts of a male companion that she reported was with her.  

After a search of the area, deputies located Harry Hodgerney, age 41, also of Reno, hiding nearby with a pair of bolt cutters. Deputies also noted damage to a utility pole in the area. After further investigation, both Hodgerney and Pemberton were arrested and booked into the Washoe County Detention Facility.

Harry Hodgerney is charged with multiple counts of Burglary, Grand Larceny, Destruction of Property and other charges related to the incidents of March 5, 7, 15 and 17. Pemberton received multiple charges related to being an accomplice in the March 15 and 17 incidents.   

Walter Vernon Higgins was arrested by deputies on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Higgins was booked on two charges of Grand Larceny and a Destruction of Property charge

Photo: Washoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies have now arrested all four suspects in their investigation of a rash of wire thefts from power poles in the north valleys earlier this year.

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The Washoe County Sheriff's Office is dedicated to preserving a safe and secure community with professionalism, respect, integrity and the highest commitment to equality. Sheriff Darin Balaam is the 27th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County since the Office was created in 1861. The Washoe County Sheriff's Office strives to ensure public safety by building trust and creating partnerships within the diverse communities in which we serve. We will promote the dignity of all people supported by our words and actions through open communication while fostering an environment of professionalism, integrity and mutual respect.

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