UPDATE 7:25 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 — Investigators have not uncovered any significant new leads, but the investigation remains active, MCSO spokesperson Mark Casey told North Phoenix News. “We are working some leads and if they take detectives down a correct path, arrests will be made,” Casey said. The article below remains as originally published.
At least 20 mostly small-time burglaries were reported in Anthem early Wednesday, as two or more thieves canvassed much of the town overnight, breaking into cars, stealing one, and also entering one home. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has fingerprints and video footage of the suspects and is hot on the trail.
There were at least 16 reports of car break-ins on the east side of Anthem, said MCSO Capt. Cory Morrison, and at least four on the west side (under Phoenix jurisdiction), he said. A handful of additional incidents have yet to be linked to the same suspects but probably will be, Morrison said.
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In one case, suspects entered a home through a garage, Morrison said. Posts to the Anthem Stuff Facebook page indicate the suspects were chased from the house.
The stolen car was retrieved, and investigators lifted fingerprints from some of the stolen goods found in the car, Morrison said. Also, multiple Anthem residents provided video footage of the suspects. In some, but not all of the footage, the suspects wore masks.
“We have some footage with faces,” Morrison told North Phoenix News. “We have some good evidence.” He added: “We’re chasing those leads currently. We have some inkling of where to start looking.”
There are at least two suspects, but there could be three or four, he said, adding: “We hope to bring resolution quickly.”
More Evidence Sought
Additional Anthem residents may have been targeted but didn’t report it to the police. Others may not realize things are missing. If you suspect a theft, Morrison asks that you report it. Likewise, if you have a surveillance camera, he asks that you review the footage and provide any that might be helpful.
Importantly, if a garage door opener is missing from your vehicle, MCSO advises changing the code immediately. If you don’t know how, you can call MCSO for help.
MCSO hasn’t seen any uptick in thefts elsewhere in the area. “It’s my opinion that this is an anomaly,” Morrison said.
The spree does, however, look like others that happen throughout Phoenix, with different suspects, said Phoenix Police Officer Tim Mitten. “They go in spurts. They go through a neighborhood” looking for easy targets like unlocked cars. “It’s a city-wide issue.” Discuss This Article on Facebook >>>
Non-emergency Crime Numbers
Phoenix Police: 602-262-6151
How to Stop a Thief
Burglaries of cars, garages and homes are the most common crimes in the North Phoenix area, according to Mitten. Many are “crimes of opportunity,” meaning the victim made the target accessible. “Most burglars are not going to target someone,” Mitten explained. “They’re looking for something easy, anything unsecure.”
Cases in point: Up to 85 percent of thefts from autos involve unlocked vehicles with valuables in plain sight, Mitten says.
Convicted burglars, asked in a study what deters them from breaking into a house, cited:
- People and/or dogs in the house
- Alarms and alarm signs
- Outdoor surveillance cameras
“Most burglars reported entering open windows or doors or forcing windows or doors open,” the researchers found.