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Paradise Valley target of 17 home burglaries in new year
With large lots and open spaces the Town of Paradise Valley faces a particularly unique situation in terms of managing urban wildlife, officials say. (Independent Newsmedia/File photo)

Home burglaries in the Town of Paradise Valley are off to a brisk start in the new year as police report a total of 17 burglaries since Jan. 1, 2013 -- nearly one-third the total amount of burglaries reported throughout the town in all of 2012.

There were 54 home burglaries in Paradise Valley in 2012, of which 11 had similar circumstances including the way of entry and merchandise targeted, town officials confirm.

The 11 similar break-ins occurred toward the end of calendar year 2012, records show.

While the Paradise Valley Police Department acknowledges there are similar circumstances between 11 of the 54 reported burglaries last year, officials remain steadfast to the assertion say there is no physical evidence linking any of the crimes.

On Jan. 15, however, two arrests were made -- a male-and-female duo -- in connection with a home burglary, but Paradise Valley Police Chief John Bennett says he does not believe the recent arrests can be connected to the 11 at the end of 2012 nor the recent rash of 17 burglaries.

“The prevalent (Modus Operandi) is throwing a rock through a glass door usually leading into a bedroom,” Chief Bennett said Feb. 20 at police headquarters. “This is going to stir visions of the rock burglar -- his method is being copycatted.”

The recent burglaries have no distinct area of target, but it appears the frequency of burglaries has moved toward the middle and southeast portions of town limits, police reports show.

Police have reported the burglaries that occurred at the end of October and into November 2012 happened in the area south of Tatum and Shea boulevards with some occurring on Cochise Road and Beryl Avenue in Paradise Valley.

Each burglary then and now typically occurs between the hours of 3:30 and 10 p.m., when it is believed the suspects knew residents were not home, police say.

“We believe it is not the same people doing these new burglaries,” Chief Bennett said. “The vast majority of them are occurring on Saturday nights.”

Paradise Valley police officials say they believe the suspects are likely drug addicts looking for quick and fruitful opportunities to gather money for their next fix.

“The reason is quite simple: Phoenix has a large population of meth users,” Chief Bennett said of addicts opting for the cheap street drug methamphetamine. “The burglars are looking for anything to purchase drugs just look at what they’re taking, jewelry and small electronics.”

In the wake of the substantial uptick to home burglaries, Chief Bennett has launched a special detail of plain-clothed officers who are staking out neighborhoods during the times most burglaries occur. In addition, these officers are watching local streets at night with the use of night-vision goggles.

Paradise Valley police officials are encouraging residents to report any suspicious activity by calling the department at 480-948-7418.

News Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at 623-445-2774 via e-mail at tthornton@newszap.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/nvnewsman

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