Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
On July 23, 2023, at about 8:09 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Hammond Trail’s south entrance, located off Mad River Road near Arcata, for the report of a vehicle burglary.
Deputies met with an adult female victim whose vehicle window had been broken and her purse stolen. According to the victim, while walking on the trail she received an alert from her bank notifying her of multiple unauthorized purchases, totaling nearly $2,000. When she arrived back at her vehicle, she learned that the burglary had occurred.
Utilizing the victim’s purchase history, deputies were able to track and eventually identify the suspect as 37-year-old Misty Marie Milligan of Eureka. On July 24, at about 1 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies observed a vehicle associated with Milligan traveling in the area of 4th and R Streets in Eureka. Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted Milligan and her passenger, 50-year-old Tasha Ticheal Jantz. Milligan was taken into custody without incident. During a search of Milligan and the vehicle, deputies located the victim’s stolen purse, approximately 6 grams of methamphetamine, 4 grams of fentanyl and drug paraphernalia.
Milligan was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of theft by forged/invalid access (PC 484g(a)), possession of a controlled substance (HS 11377(a)) and possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia (HS 11364).
Jantz was found to have an outstanding felony warrant. She was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on warrant charges of convicted felon in possession of a firearm (PC 29800(a)), vehicle theft (VC 10851(a)), DUI (VC 23152(a)) and violation of probation (PC 1203.2(a)).
Each summer the Sheriff’s Office receives reports of vehicle burglaries occurring near recreation sites, such as local beaches and trails. You can protect yourself from vehicle burglaries by taking the following precautions whenever you are leaving your vehicle:
- Always remove valuables from inside your vehicle. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office commonly receives reports of purses, bags, briefcases and wallets being stolen from vehicles – even those that have been hidden from plain view, such as under a seat. We have even received reports of thieves breaking in to steal a pair of sunglasses. Even if you do not believe the item is of value, remove it from plain site.
- Be cautious when storing valuables in your trunk. If your vehicle is equipped with a trunk release button on the inside, car prowlers can easily access your vehicle’s trunk space. While “hiding” items in your trunk may reduce the chance for your vehicle to be a target, the action will not completely protect you from theft.
- Remove garage door openers, key cards, and house, work or car keys from your vehicle.
- Always lock your vehicle, even if you are home. In public places, it may be tempting to leave your vehicle windows down to avoid vandalism. However, this puts you at even more risk, leaving vehicle registration and insurance information accessible to anyone nearby and increasing your chances of falling victim to identity theft, burglaries at your home and vehicle theft.
Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.