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04/23/17 Driggs, ID – Residence Call – While Deputy From The Teton Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Was Searching – A Man Stole His Patrol Car – Deputy Was Able To Jump Into Passenger Side And Intoxicated Man Gave Up

April 23, 2017


The details around an attempted heist of a police vehicle in Driggs were revealed in Teton County Magistrate Court on Monday.

Sergio Mirava-Pinedo, 25, faces grand theft and driving under the influence charges for attempting to drive a police vehicle away from a residence in the early hours of the morning on April 8.

Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Kendall Bowser testified during Mirava’s preliminary hearing that he was called to respond to a loud argument at a residence on Ross Avenue.

When Deputy Bowser arrived, he said an apparent argument was going on between the driver of a pickup and a person standing outside. Upon seeing the deputy, the driver of the vehicle quickly left the scene.

“I tried to flag the vehicle down using my strobe light,” said Deputy Bowser. “But he drove past.”

Deputy Bowser then looked for the other person, who he saw run into the nearby residence. After rousing the owner and getting their permission to search the premises, Deputy Bowser said he was surprised to hear noise outside.

“I heard a car door shut,” Deputy Bowser recalled. “I went out to see who was there. I saw my patrol vehicle drive past and begin to make a right turn.”

Deputy Bowser said he ran out to stop the patrol car, which slowed to avoid crashing into a parked vehicle.

“I got it to stop by opening the passenger door,” Deputy Bowser said. “When I opened the door, Mr. Mirava raised his hands and lowered his head.”

Deputy Bowser took Mirava into custody, saying it was clear the suspect was intoxicated.

Mirava’s defense attorney, Faren Eddins, asked whether it would have been possible to mistake the patrol vehicle with its lights off for another type of car.

Patrol vehicles are clearly marked with a decal on the sides and back, Bowser said.

“Once inside it would be clear it was a police vehicle,” he said.

Although Mirava did not drive a great distance, simply being behind the wheel intoxicated is enough to face a DUI charge.

Grand theft is punishable by a maximum $10,000 fine and a minimum of one year in prison.

Mirava remains in custody with a $25,000 bond. He is also facing an immigration hold. His arraignment in District Court is set for May 2.

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