Two men who police arrested Tuesday morning after responding to a reported burglary in progress on the West End made an initial court appearances Wednesday afternoon.
Anthony Alen Esparza, 23, and Andrew Charles Hughes, 47, both face felony counts of burglary and misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer. Hughes also is charged with misdemeanor possession of burglary tools.
Billings police arrested the two men, who both had warrants, Tuesday morning after officers responded at about 10:43 a.m. to a reported burglary in progress in the 2800 block of Colton Boulevard.
Billings Police Sgt. Shawn Finnegan responded and spoke with a witness who said he saw two men he believed broke into a residence, according to charging documents. The witness said he saw the two men carry backpacks and put them in a vehicle on nearby Patricia Lane.
The car the men were reportedly using was impounded, pending a search warrant.
The sergeant continued investigating and saw two men, later identified as Hughes and Esparza, who ran into a backyard in the 2100 block of Patricia Lane, court records say.
Additional officers arrived and they started searching for the men. Finnegan reported seeing two men hiding under a pine tree. He called to the men, stating he was police.
Esparza climbed a fence and ran away, despite commands to stop, while Hughes came out from under the tree and initially said his name was “Drew Collins,” according to charging documents.
Police spoke to a homeowner on the 2800 block of Colton Boulevard, and found pry marks on the door and doorframe of a residence there. Inside the home, a crowbar was found on a table.
In the backyard, an officer found one black glove, a banana peel and a blue pillowcase containing a cigar box and its contents, court records say.
The homeowner told police it didn’t appear any other property was missing.
Officers reported finding Esparza hiding under a utility trailer near a ditch on Lyndale Lane. He reportedly had a can of bear spray and one black glove.
Judge Pedro R. Hernandez set bond at $10,000 for each of the men and ordered them to appear for arraignment in District Court on July 25.