Fayette County authorities have captured 2 Northeast Iowa residents, one hiding in a tree and another leading officers on a short car chase, charged with various burglary, theft and illegal drug counts


Just before 2pm Wednesday (Feb. 27), the Fayette County Sheriff received a 911 call, reporting that someone was trying to break into their rural Westgate home, while it was still occupied.

When deputies arrived, the victim gave officers a description of the suspect, who ran from the scene. Officers found the man, identified as 41 year old Aaron Rochford of Maynard, who then led them on a foot chase.

Rochford was later found hiding in a wooded area, up in a tree, about a tenth of a mile northwest of the residence he tried to burglarize.

Stephanie Arteaga. Photo from Fayette Co. Sheriff

During the investigation, officers noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area and tried to pull the driver over.

After a short chase, the driver, 28 year old Stephanie Arteaga of Oelwein, was taken into custody. Inside the vehicle, deputies found burglary tools and a controlled substance. Arteaga was charged with Aiding and Abetting to burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and having contraband in a jail.

Rochford is being charged with Burglary in the second degree, possession of burglary tools, and possession of a controlled substance, second offense.

Rochford is also charged with ongoing criminal conduct for having open cases in Black Hawk, Fayette, and Chickasaw Counties. The charges include Possession of Marijuana, Theft, Burglary, Criminal Mischief, and Trespass.

Both Rochford and Arteaga are being held in the Fayette County jail, pending their first court appearance.