Burglary investigation catches alleged thieves in the act

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Vincent Chavez.jpg

Vincent Chavez

PINAL COUNTY – On March 25, 2013, a Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy increased his patrol in the area of San Manuel Junction where there had been a recent rise in car burglaries. Deputy Mark Foster witnessed some suspicious activity in a parking lot from his observation point.

Deputy Foster observed a gray pickup pull into the parking lot and alongside a parked pickup. The overhead lights of both trucks turned on and there was movement inside the two trucks. The deputy approached the two vehicles and overheard one man yell to the other, “Get down someone is coming.”

A juvenile, 17, Oracle, was found inside the parked pickup and Deputy Foster observed the ignition had been punched. The juvenile was wearing gloves and had a screwdriver near his side. The second suspect, Vincent Chavez, 36, was still in the truck which they had arrived in. A check of that gray truck showed it had been stolen earlier from Pima County. Upon arresting the two men, deputies discovered a small amount of methamphetamine in the pocket of the juvenile.

During questioning, Chavez told deputies that he was a drug dealer but he was not a car thief and thought he was taking the juvenile, his neighbor, to pick up a family member’s truck.

Both suspects had outstanding warrants from Pima County and were arrested for those warrants. In addition, Chavez faces charges of theft of means of transportation and burglary. The juvenile was arrested for burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft of means of transportation.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies will now compare fingerprints of the suspects to prints taken from other burglaries in the area.

Lt. Tamatha Villar said, “Deputy Foster was recently commended for his great work catching our local copper wire thieves and now he has stopped a string of vehicle burglaries. Deputy Foster’s patience and pro-active approach to solving these crimes continues to have a profound impact on our communities.”

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