Nevada man arrested for Bristol Bay Telephone Co-Op burglary

May 30, 2018

Cheapell D. Jones, 42, allegedly stole a work truck and electronic equipment worth several thousand dollars from BBTC. He faces five felony charges.

A Copper River Seafoods employee was arrested Wednesday in Naknek for allegedly stealing electronics and a vehicle from the Bristol Bay Telephone Cooperative.

Cheapell D. Jones, a 42-year-old man from Las Vegas, Nev., was walking on the highway near King Salmon at about 4:30 in the morning. A resident picked him up and brought him to the police station. Bristol Bay Borough police chief, John Rhyshek said Jones was nearly hypothermic from spending a night outside in the rain.

“Our mission then was just to get him somewhere warm and safe and back to his employer. So when I patted him down, just for my safety before transporting him back to his employer, Copper River Seafoods, he had a really unique cellphone that I observed that Bristol Bay Telephone uses for their fleet of vehicles. It was busted off, and I thought that was quite odd that he would have that on his person,” Rhyshek explained.

Later Wednesday morning, police received the report that the Bristol Bay Borough Co-Op offices and shop had been burglarized. Windows were broken, and several thousand dollars of electronic equipment was stolen. A BBTC work truck was missing as well. 

“We kind of concentrated the search area on where the individual was located at 4:30 in the morning. Wouldn’t you know it, we find the missing Bristol Bay Telephone vehicle less than a mile from where the individual was located,” said Rhyshek.

The truck was stuck in a gravel pit on Rapids Camp Road, east of King Salmon.

Jones was arrested at Copper River Seafoods in Naknek and remanded to the Bristol Bay Borough Detention Facility. He faces five felony charges, two for burglary, two for criminal mischief and one for vehicle theft.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.