MCSO seeks public’s help to nab crooks who stole from vehicles in Will Rogers ranch

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to identify thieves who stole items from vehicles parked in the Will Rogers Equestrian Ranch on Ocotillo Road west of Ellsworth Road.

The incidents took place sometime during the evening of Aug. 20-21, when three men unlawfully entered unlocked vehicles in the residential community, according to the MCSO District 6-Queen Creek. The town contracts with MCSO to provide professional law enforcement services for the community.

(Read follow-up: Teens arrested in connection with burglaries)

The town of Queen Creek posted on Facebook a surveillance video that shows the suspects entering a truck around 3 a.m. Aug. 21.

“These were crimes of opportunity,” MCSO Capt. Dave Munley said in a press release. “The video shows the individuals walking from vehicle to vehicle until they find one that is unlocked. Not only are we encouraging our residents to lock their doors, we are also asking for your help to hold these individuals accountable for their actions.”

About 98 percent of thefts from vehicles in Queen Creek are from unlocked vehicles, MCSO Sgt. Dan Jones said during a phone interview.

Capt. Munley during a phone interview said the men appeared to be in their late teens to early 20s. He said he could not confirm their ethnicity due to the poor quality of the video.

He said the men took their time while going from vehicle to vehicle checking to see which were unlocked.

“One guy spent a minute, minute and a half looking inside the truck. He didn’t seem to be in a hurry to get out of there,” Capt. Munley said.

Each of the men had backpacks that they used to carry away the stolen goods, which included an insurance card; electronic devices such as chargers and an iPad; change, sunglasses and a flashlight, Capt. Munley said.

The sheriff’s office also received a phone call from a resident who did not have anything stolen but believed someone had been inside the caller’s vehicle, Sgt. Jones said.

MCSO asks people with information about these incidents to call Sgt. Jones at 602-876-5055.

Click here to view the surveillance video.

The sheriff’s office release the following safety tips from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration to help residents reduce their chances of becoming a victim of vehicle theft and burglary:

•Always lock your vehicle.
•Do not leave valuables in plain sight.
•Remove your keys from the ignition and take your keys with you.
•Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle.
•Park in well-lighted areas.
•Never leave your vehicle running, even if you will only be gone for a minute.
•Park with your wheels turned towards the curb to make your vehicle more difficult to tow away.
•If your vehicle is rear-wheel drive, backing into your driveway will also make it more difficult for a thief to tow it away.
•Garage your vehicle if you have one and always remember to lock the garage door.
•Always use your emergency brake when parking, which ensures safety and also makes it difficult for a thief to tow your vehicle away.
•Etch your vehicle identification number on car windows and major parts. This procedure makes vehicles and parts more easily traceable when stolen.
•Drop business cards, address labels or other identification inside vehicle doors to help assist law enforcement in identifying your vehicle or parts.
•Replace easily accessible door lock assemblies.
•Install an anti-theft device or system on your vehicle as an extra deterrent measure.

MCSO District 6-Queen Creek is at 22308 S. Ellsworth Road. In an emergency, call 9-1-1. To reach MCSO’s non-emergency number, call 602-876-1011.

News Editor Wendy Miller can be contacted at 480-982-7799 and via e-mail at qcnews@newszap.com, or follow her on Twitter @WendyNewszap123.

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