Payson Hit By String Of Burglaries, Four Arrests Made

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Payson has been hit by a rash of commercial and residential burglaries lately.

"We have unfortunately been experiencing a higher than average volume of commercial and residential burglaries in the last couple of weeks," Payson Police Chief Don Engler said.

"I think we had a couple more today (Oct. 24), as a matter of fact."

He said four juveniles had been arrested in the last two weeks, in connection with some of the burglaries.

A spokesperson for Payson Police said the burglaries total more than half a dozen in the last couple of weeks; many have been in the Houston-Mesa area.

Engler would not comment if he thought the burglaries were the work of separate individuals or an organized group.

He said he was not willing to give out much information about any suspects, because the investigation is ongoing and he didn't want to give out information that might tip off those responsible.

Engler speculated those responsible for the burglaries may not all come from the Payson area, some may be from out of town, he said.

"I'm not willing to talk about it much right now, but we have gathered considerable evidence to help solve the case and we are investigating an adult offender, in connection with the burglaries," he said.

Engler is asking citizens to phone in any suspicious activity or individuals to the police department.

Engler said Payson is growing and as it does, it is going to face more of the kind of problems larger communities in Arizona do.

"I know we all would like to think we can still just go to bed and not worry about locking our door, but I think it might be time to start locking those doors and even putting up security lights," he said.

Payson City Council member Ed Blair said in a letter to the Roundup, one of the burglaries occurred across the street from where he lives.

"The one across the street from me at 401 W. Houston Mesa was a particularly bold and expensive theft... done in one or two days, when the neighbors were gone.Boldest was that they stole from the garage a quite-new, large pickup for hauling a fifth wheel worth some $45,000, plus electronics, guns, tools, computers, vintage guitars and modern amps," Blair said.

Total loss from this one burglary was approximately $100,000, according to the homeowner.

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