Greenville airport thief pleads guilty to all-terrain vehicle theft


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:58 am on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tyler Rivera

STANTON — A young man pleaded guilty last week to breaking into the Greenville Municipal Airport and stealing an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) last May.

Tyler Rivera, 19, of Holt, pleaded guilty Thursday in 8th Judicial Circuit Court to breaking and entering a building with intent. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

Rivera’s longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend, Amanda Engel, 19, of Greenville, testified against him at a preliminary court hearing last November. Engel pleaded guilty to receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with the crime.

Vandel “Van” Stephens, 19, of Sidney, was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property in connection with the crime, but his court record is no longer public.

Engel was fired from her job at the Greenville airport about a month before the May 27 or May 28 break-in. She was rehired about a week before the theft, but was about to be fired again, according to airport manager Peter Jeppesen.

Avon Arbo testified in court that he stored his Bombardier ATV — worth about $4,500 — in his hangar at the city-owned Greenville airport when it was stolen.

Montcalm County sheriff’s deputies recovered the ATV in late August and arrested Engel and Stephens. They arrested Rivera in late October.

Arbo took his ATV to Nelson’s Speed Shop in Greenville, where he learned the vehicle had sustained “extensive” damages.

Jeppesen said a terminal window was broken, a couch was tipped over and cash had been stolen from the airport and from Petersen Oil, which manages the airport’s fuel system.

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