While police cracked the case for one break-in this weekend, several new residential burglaries were discovered.
It appears just as soon as officers arrested two men allegedly responsible for a break-in at Pioneer Village, they were back at work investigating three new burglaries in or near the Woodhill neighborhood.
The neighborhood has been hit hard in recent months with thieves preying on second homeowners. The three break-ins discovered last weekend are the latest in a string of at least seven since January.
Police are encouraging part-time homeowners to take extra caution by installing motion detectors, putting lights on timers and starting a neighborhood watch program.
Payson Police Chief Don Engler said they are receiving tips from homeowners, but often too late.
“We are still seeing some hesitation of people to call immediately if they see something suspicious or out of the ordinary,” he said.
“We have gotten quite a few calls, but there is a time lag. The more immediate we get a call the better.”
Two of the most recent burglaries occurred in the Woodhill neighborhood while the other was farther west in the Trailwood area, he said.
The thieves have targeted mostly second homes, although one of the recent break-ins occurred at a residence lived in full-time.
Since the break-ins occur in second homes, they are often not discovered for some time. This makes pinning a time down difficult, he said.
In all of the recent break-ins, forced entry was used and small, portable things taken, such as jewelry. Police believe the same person or group is behind all of the crimes, although Engler would not say what evidence led him to believe this.
Det. Matt Van Camp is in charge of all the break-ins, so any tips can be directed to him at (928) 474-5177, ext. 251. Submit tips anonymously at (928) HOT-TIPS. A reward leading to arrest and conviction is available, Engler said.
One case that has been solved is the Feb. 13 overnight break-in at Pioneer Village Trading Post at 1117 N. Beeline Highway.
Two men allegedly entered the collectible shop through a back window and took several weapons, including knives and brass knuckles.
After developing several leads from contacts on the streets, officers were led to a home in the 400 block of East Rancho Road, Engler said.
On Feb. 17, detectives interviewed a 17-year-old and Clancey Tindell, 18, at the home. After finding several of the items taken from Pioneer Village in the home, both men were arrested.