Police put two suspects on wanted list
March 29, 2006
A man wanted on burglary and theft charges and another who the police say writes bad checks were recently placed on the Park City Police Department’s most-wanted list, joining a list of suspected drug dealers and child abusers on the compilation of suspects the police are hunting.
The Police Department recently put Jason Yarbrough and Victor Portillo on the most-wanted list, hoping that Parkites might see them and then call the police. The Police Department has used the most-wanted list with scattered success since 2005.
"I’ve been encouraged by the number of phone calls and leads we’ve received. Obviously, I’d be more happy if we arrested all of them," said Mike Fierro, the Police Department detective who helps compile the most-wanted list.
Yarbrough, accused of writing bad checks, is wanted on two third-degree felony charges of theft by deception. The warrant is valued at $15,000 and was issued on Nov. 17, 2005.
Portillo, meanwhile, is wanted on a two sets of charges, including two burglary counts and three counts of theft. He faces felony charges and misdemeanors.
In a three-page court filing submitted to the Third District Court in November, detective Mary Ford outlines the Police Department case against Yarbrough, saying that he wrote bad checks for jewelry and art.
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The filing said that on Aug. 6, 2005 Ken Whipple from Park City Jewelers sold Yarbrough three pieces of jewelry for $1,376.23. Afterward, Whipple told the police that Yarbrough’s check was returned because there were insufficient funds in his account.
Whipple contacted the bank "on numerous occasions," but Yarbrough’s account did not have enough money to cover the check, the filing said.
About two weeks earlier, on Aug. 25, 2005, Karen Watson told the police that she received a bad check from Yarbrough. He wrote her a $1,000 check for two paintings during the Park City Art Festival, held earlier in August, the filing said.
She was told that Yarbrough did not have enough money in his account to cover the check, the police said. Watson tried to contact Yarbrough by mail and telephone but was unsuccessful, the police said.
According to the filing, bank records show that Yarbrough never had enough money in the account to cover the checks.
Yarbrough’s last known address is 28 Hillside Ave. in Salt Lake City. He is described as being 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds. He has green eyes and blonde hair. The police say he drives a white 1989 Toyota Camry with a Utah license plate, 330 MAA.
Prosecutors have also filed in Third District Court what are known as ‘information’ documents describing the allegations against Portillo, saying he stole a wallet loaded with money, took a laptop computer and stole money from the restaurant where he worked.
Portillo faces a third-degree felony burglary charge for allegedly stealing $562 from the Broken Thumb, the Racquet Club restaurant where he once worked, the prosecutors said.
The restaurant’s manager, Matthew Lamphier, told the police that Portillo was fired on May 6, 2005, he did not return his keys and then the restaurant’s money bag disappeared with the $562 inside, according to the filing.
Portillo admitted to taking the money when he spoke to a police officer afterward, the filing said.
He is also accused of stealing a wallet with $180 inside and a laptop computer from a Park City apartment. The prosecutors say that Portillo sold the stolen computer, valued at $1,500.
His last known address is 2200 Monitor Drive #6-D, in the Holiday Village apartment complex. The police describe him as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. He has brown eyes and dark brown hair. He has a scar on his right wrist. The police say Portillo goes by the aliases of ‘Victor Portillo-Yanez’ and ‘Victor Omar Yanez.’
In 2005, the Police Department was criticized for releasing a most-wanted list that was made exclusively of Latinos. The police said the all-Latino makeup was not intended and instead said that the 10 were the most dangerous suspects.
After catching one of the suspects, the police put an Anglo on the list. That prompted allegations on a racially charged Internet site that the department was being politically correct by putting a white person on the list.
Fierro, from the Police Department, though, is happy with the success of the most-wanted list since its controversial debut. One person on the list was arrested after someone saw them on the list, noticed they were working at a Main Street restaurant and called the police. The other person arrested was caught after the police received a tip he was living in Arizona, where he was arrested.
"I think that, for the most part, people are genuinely interested in assisting law enforcement and helping us apprehend wanted criminals," Fierro said.