Castle Valley Comments
Sept. 20, 2012
by Ron Drake
Sep 20, 2012 | 605 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A suspicious incident occurred in Castle Valley last Saturday evening, which was cause for concern to some local residents. It came to light when a resident emailed Castle Valley Mayor Dave Erley concerning a visit he had from a person inquiring about LDS Church services.

The email reads: “At 10:10 p.m. a very loud knock came to my door and when I answered it a thin, somewhat gaunt man in his 30s, dressed in camouflage shorts and possibly t-shirt asked me if I knew what time on Sunday the LDS Church had services. I said I did not know, and he pressed the subject, saying he and his friend were camping nearby and wanted to go to services, and that they would subsequently contact the bishop for an answer. I do not believe this individual’s story at all. I am convinced that this was an act of ‘casing out’ my residence for a future burglary.

“I did not let the individual inside the house, and I moved onto the porch forcing him to back away. I told him I do not know when the LDS meet, and I asked for his name. He replied that his name was Cory Havilland, or perhaps Cory deHavilland. He continued to back away toward a car where another man, possibly with a mustache, was at the steering wheel, with the engine running. I noted as best I could the car type and license plate. The car appeared to be a small [four]-door sedan, like a Saturn. Color possibly dark.”

This event concerned the home-owner because a similar incident occurred several years ago when “a scruffy ‘meth-head’ type of guy” also knocked on his door asking for an individual who did not live there and his place was robbed a few days later. He contacted the sheriff’s office Saturday after the person left and a deputy filed a report and said he would do a security drive-through in Castle Valley. He said that it was no surprise that he did not find the car with that license plate in the parking lot of the church during their meetings the next morning.

Sunday morning, our neighbor said that the same scenario also played out at his house when a man knocked on the door, waking him up and asked the same questions and related a story about camping in the area and wanting to attend LDS services the next morning. A check of the neighborhood indicated that three other people were approached by a man around 10 p.m. asking the same questions. The indications are that the men visited two homes on lower Rim Shadow Lane then went across Castle Valley Drive and stopped at two more homes on the upper side.

One person said the man asked the same question about LDS service time but seemed “edgy” and possibly intoxicated or on drugs, and it all seemed “really fishy,” she said. Another neighbor said the vehicle drove into the driveway where cars normally do not park so he took pictures of the tire tracks and measured the distance between the wheels.

“That’s what happens when you watch too much television,” he said.

The license plate did not come up with a match to the vehicle after running the numbers and letters in different sequences, according to officials at the sheriff’s office. Grand County Chief Deputy Darrel Mecham said that it is possible the two men were trying to find out who would be at church and return to their home during the time they were at church. He said they will have extra patrols in Castle Valley to try to spot the vehicle. There were no visitors at the Castle Valley Branch LDS Church meetings Sunday morning.

I would like to know if anyone else experienced a visit from these individuals and the sheriff’s office would also like to know, especially if they have a good identification on the license plate.

* * *

The Castle Valley Planning and Zoning Commission has been working for many months on a survey to be sent out to residents in preparation for a general plan update. Commission chairwoman Mary Beth Fitzburgh has issued the following statement regarding the issue.

“The Town has mailed out the Castle Valley General Plan Survey. Its purpose is to gather information from the community to help update the Town’s General Plan, which is done approximately every five years. Results from the survey are a crucial part of this process. Be an active participant in shaping the future of Castle Valley by taking the time to fill out and return the survey by October 31, 2012.

“Those who rent a home in Castle Valley can pick up a survey at the Town Office during regular office hours. The Planning and Land Use Commission will have a special agenda item at its next regular meeting, Wednesday, October 3 at 7:00 pm, to help clarify any questions on the survey. Further additional public meetings with more detailed discussions will be held after the results of the surveys are compiled.”

* * *

Thirty years ago this week a meeting was held to initiate a program to organize transportation aides for the two Castle Valley school buses. Robin Wilson and Dennis Godwin organized the meeting and school district superintendent Bill Meador explained the duties and objectives of the aides.

Of the 30 people who attended the meeting, many volunteered to serve and ride one of the buses to Moab on the morning run and return in the afternoon. Pam DeVore volunteered to coordinate the program. Their duty was to assist the bus driver to ensure that school and safety rules were followed.

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