Redding pair arrested after tied to vehicle burglaries

REDDING — A pair of self-admitted, heroin-addicted thieves was arrested yesterday morning after a Redding police officer happened to come across the couple while performing extra patrol in the Market Street Promenade area. During that encounter, the officer discovered the duo was in possession of property that had been stolen during multiple vehicle burglaries the previous night.


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Officer Brian Berg was conducting pro-active extra patrol in the Promenade area around 08:45 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 1, when he contacted the Redding couple, later identified as David William Shankles, 27, and Chelsea Lynne Hyatt, 20. 

While Berg was talking to Shankles and Hyatt he noticed several items including a newer iMac desktop computer “that appeared to be stolen” on the ground near the pair, Redding Police Corporal W. Williams said after the incident and arrests.

Berg conducted a records check and learned Shankles is on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for domestic violence and theft related offenses.

During a subsequent search, Shankles was found to be in possession of two loaded rifle magazines full of ammunition. As a convicted felon, Shankles is prohibited from possessing ammunition.

As his investigation continued, Berg learned the ammunition, computer, and “several other items … including a jacket that Hyatt was wearing” had been stolen the previous night, according to Williams. All of the stolen property had been taken from different unlocked vehicles in the parking lot of the Thunderbird Motel.

Berg also obtained surveillance video footage from the motel that showed Shankles and Hyatt walking through the motel parking lot while attempting to lift door handles. 

During later questioning, Shankles and Hyatt admitted to routinely walking through downtown parking lots looking for unsecured vehicles to steal items from, “mostly to support their heroin addictions,” said Williams.

All of the recovered stolen property was eventually returned to its owners.

David Shankles, 27, and Chelsea Hyatt, 20, were arrested after they were found in possession of multiple items stolen from unlocked vehicles parked at the Firebird Motel in Redding. RPD photos

Based on his investigation, Berg arrested Shankles and Hyatt for a variety of charges. The pair was then transported to Shasta County Jail in Redding where Shankles was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of ammunition, possession of stolen property, petty theft, conspiracy to commit theft, and violation of his PRCS probation terms.

Hyatt was booked on suspicion of grand theft, possession of stolen property, petty theft, and conspiracy to commit theft.

A jail records search indicated both alleged suspects remain in custody; with Shankles being held without bail and Hyatt held in lieu of $10,00 bail.

Officer Williams used the opportunity to encourage area residents to follow the #9PMROUTINE, part of which is to lock your vehicle, secure your valuables, and turn any outside lights on at 9 p.m.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact Redding Police Corporal W. Williams at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 19R000062 and can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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