Teen sentenced for gold coin theft

Marcus R. Ybarra, 18, of Hood River, was sentenced last week for his role in stealing $16,526 of gold coins from a Post Canyon residence.

One of his three co-defendants, a juvenile, has already been brought to court. Nationwide warrants have been issued for the remaining two suspects, Jose Jesus Vasquez, 19, and Ezequiel Cervantes, 18, who have fled the area.

Ybarra pled guilty on Nov. 14 to first degree burglary and was ordered by Judge Donald Hull to serve 45 days in jail, followed by 160 hours of community service and enrollment in a theft school counseling program. He was also directed to pay restitution to Jeff and Stacy Houtz for one-fourth the value of the Krugerrands that he and his friends took from their home on March 31.

"You need to get the message that you can't be stealing from other people, it's just not going to cut it," said Hull, who also ordered Ybarra to make a court appearance each month to report on his progress.

"My goal is to have you pay for your crime against society and make sure you're successful," said Hull.

According to police reports, Ybarra and his three accomplices entered the unoccupied Houtz residence last spring and carried the family's safe out of the basement. They then transported the vault up Post Canyon where they pried it open and emptied the contents.

Hood River District Attorney John Sewell said a Portland pawn shop owner later identified Ybarra as one of the suspect's from a yearbook photo and his involvement in the crime was confirmed by the juvenile perpetrator during his confession.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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