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Homeowner catches burglary suspect, suspect gets released

By By Jamie Ostroff
Published On: Sep 27 2013 06:28:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 27 2013 07:16:43 PM CDT

Homeowner catches burglary suspect, suspect gets released

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

People in one Idaho Falls neighborhood are feeling less safe in their own homes because of a string of burglaries that took place early Wednesday morning.

Police arrested one suspect, but the courts let him go.

Now the victims are outraged.

"We're actually more scared, knowing that they're out there, than we were before," said Shane Bush, whose workshop, camper and truck were broken into.

"You definitely feel violated," said Kevin Whitacre, Bush's neighbor, whose home was also burglarized.

Neighbors say all is not well on Stosich Lane.

"I have got a heightened awareness of making sure everything's locked," Bush said.

Bush, Whitacre and several of their neighbors woke to the sounds of their homes being broken into and their belongings stolen Wednesday morning.

Those neighbors are looking for justice.

"When you read that someone's been arrested for something, most people kind of feel an assurance that, 'Well, they're off the road and they're in jail,' but that's not true at all," Bush said.

Bush's home was the last one hit, because he and his grown son heard the alarm in the shop go off. They grabbed baseball bats and went to investigate. Bush said he saw at least one person running away down the street. He said he caught another person, in his camper, red-handed.

"I got up here to the bathroom, and as I cracked the door to the bathroom open, I could see him sitting in there," Bush said.

Bush said that person was Marco Zavala-Leal, 18. A judge released Zavala-Leal on Thursday, without bond, on pretrial services.

Bush and Whitacre, a former police officer, disagree with the judge's decision.

"Time to lock these guys up," Whitacre said. "Kicking them out just lets them victimize more people."

"Under our constitution, people are innocent until proven guilty," said Bonneville County prosecutor Bruce Pickett. "(A judge) should look at (a suspect's) criminal history, how long they've been in the area, their ties to the area."

Zavala-Leal will have to abide by the judge's conditions until his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Oct. 8.

Meanwhile, Bush and Whitacre said they're working on starting a neighborhood watch program.

Wednesday's string of burglaries happened within a month of a burglary at a veterinary clinic and a home invasion in the same area. 

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