Sheriff’s Deputies Arrest Two Metal Theft Suspects Following Tip

Sparks, NV….Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrested two women on burglary charges Thursday after an alert neighbor reported suspicious activity at a vacant house on Shadow Lane in Sparks.

In the afternoon of Thursday, March 6, 2014, Sheriff Patrol Deputies were dispatched to a house in the 7600 block of Shadow Lane to investigate a citizen’s report of a strange vehicle in the driveway and noises coming from within a home that was supposed to have been unoccupied.

Deputies found Julia Ann Soukup, age 52, and Melissa Kay Davis, age 46 at the house. Upon further investigation, Deputies determined that the women were in the process of trying to cut and remove copper pipes from the house. Both women were taken into custody and booked into the Washoe County Detention Facility on Thursday evening.

“This is a perfect example of the Sheriff’s Office ongoing partnership with our community in action,” Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Bob Harmon said. “A burglary was stopped and two suspects taken into custody because a citizen did the right thing and contacted law enforcement when he saw something suspicious taking place in their neighborhood.”

Metal thieves commonly target remote or unoccupied locations and attempt their crimes at times when homeowners are away from home. Residents are asked to stay alert and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Look, listen and let someone know.

Metal theft prevention continues to be part of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office ongoing commitment to public safety and security. The following tips from the Staying Safe page of will help protect against metal theft:

  • Secure foundation openings in the crawl space of your house with a good hasp and padlock.
  • If possible, build a small chain link fence or cage enclosures around the outside portions of your commercial fixtures, heating and cooling systems.
  • Don’t store scrap metals outside, or within view.
  • Contact local law enforcement if you see any suspicious activity.
  • Check your business and residential properties regularly.
  • Keep a close eye on your irrigation systems and on vacant homes and businesses in your neighborhood.

photo 1: Julia Ann Soukup
photo 2: Melissa Kay Davis




The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.