Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week

Almost any crime that can happen at your home can also happen at work. These tips can help you keep you, your co-workers and your property safe.

1. Keep your purse or wallet with you or locked in a secure drawer.
2. If you will be away from your desk, even for a few minutes, forward your calls; shut and lock your office door.
3. Lock any office money in a secure desk or cabinet.
4. When a repair person shows up to work in your office, ask for identification, even if they are wearing a uniform. Never leave them alone in your office.
5. Don't use stairwells and corridors that are not well lit.
6. The receiption area should be equipped with a panic button for emergencies and a lock on the front door that can be controlled.
7. Do not leave passwords or any type of log-on information laying around your work area.
8. Do not get into an elevator with people who look out-of-place or are behaving strangely.
9. Make sure employee restroom are locked and only employees have access.
10. Don't work late alone. If you do, lock your door and notify security (if you have them) that you are there.

More crime prevention tips can be found at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Animal Cruelty Case

On 09-03-2012 suspect Scott Graham was arrested for the following:  One count of Theft, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor;  One count of Mistreatment to Animals, which is a Class 6 Felony;  Two counts of Cruelty to Animals, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

This arrest was reference the investigation of a missing cat from the area of Extension / Natal in Mesa. In addition, several other cats were believed to be missing from the area, although no other reports were made by victims. Subsequent to the report, three cats were found deceased not far from the original theft location. One of those cats was believed to possibly be the cat stolen from our victim's residence.

At the time of Scott Graham's arrest, testimony and evidence available to arresting officers supported the listed charges. However, subsequent investigation by detectives has developed information which brings some the initial facts into question. Based upon this development, the decision was made to continue with only the Theft charge. At this time, investigative efforts have been exhausted. Any additional or future charges are unlikely until additional evidence is developed or received that would allow the investigation to continue.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Police Story

Recently Mesa PD Officer Gransee was called to a scene and arrested a subject for DUI drugs.  Upon completion of the DUI investigation, the suspect called a friend to pick him up from the police station.  However, upon the friend's arrival to the police station, Officer Gransee recognized him from the original call.  He determined this subject, now a driver, was also under the influence.  The investigation resulted in his arrest for DUI drugs.

Normally, this story would end here, however, the parade continued.  When the second suspect was to be released, he called a friend guessed it, drives up also under the influence.  The now third investigation resulted in this suspect being arrested for DUI drugs also. But wait! Just like the TV infomercials, "that's not all." When our third suspect calls a friend to be picked up, this FOURTH subject drives up and is........under the influence.  A fourth arrest was made...

This light hearted portrayal of an actual incident, should be an example to all that drugs most certainly IMPAIR.  Thankfully, this story can be told anecdotally and did not have a tragic ending.

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week

Businesses owners -- the following tips can help reduce your chance of becoming a victim.

Install metal guards around the deadbolt locks to protect against prying-type instruments, such as a crowbar, from forcing open the lock.

Reinforce common walls shared with a next door business. Using materials such as steel reinforced concrete would provide the best protection. Make it more difficult & time consuming to gain entry by installing cabinets and reinforced backing or heavy metal shelving units affixed to the wall. Put heavy items on bottom shelves that will make them more difficult to slide away from the wall and harder to tip over.

Secure ladders and other roof access means when not in use. Downspouts should be part of the building, not attached to it.

Install security laminate on the glass in windows and an adhesive sealant around inside and outside edges up to the frame of the windwow casings and trim. Secure sliding windows and doors with locks and a screw inside the track to prevent lifting and removing the window.

More crime prevention tips can be found at

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Brother Remembered....

One year ago today, Mesa Police Officer Mark Kelly #16358 lost his battle with Lou Gehrig's Disease at the age of 32.  He left behind a wife, five small children, and a family who loved him dearly.  Mark also left behind a Mesa Police Family of 1200 strong, who remember him this day....You are not forgotten brother. Not this day.....Not ever....

Got Drugs?

Drop off your unwanted and expired medications at any of the following locations on Saturday, September 29 from 10am to 2pm.

Mesa Police station locations:  120 N. Robson, 2505 S. Dobson Rd., 4333 E. University Drive and 2430 S. Ellsworth.

Other Mesa locations: 1230 S. Longmore (Target); 908 S. Power Rd. (Leisure World) or 334 N. Power Rd. (Rural Metro Station). Inhalers, intra-venous solutions, injectibles or syringes will NOT be accepted at this event.

Download flyer to distribute to your neighbors.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mesa Officer Named "MADD's 2012 Officer of the Year"

Mesa Police Officer Gerbich was one of 24 officers nominated statewide for their efforts in DUI Enforcement in 2011. From those 24, Officer Gerbich was selected as the "2012 Officer of the Year" by MADD (Mother's Against Drunk Driving) at their 2012 MADD DUI Law Enforcement Recognition Awards Dinner in Phoenix last week. Officer Gerbich was Mesa's leader in DUI arrests for 2011. His nomination is a positive reflection on Mesa's Traffic Section, as well as our agency's commitment to DUI enforcement.

Senior Police Academy Begins November 14

The next session of the Mesa Police Department's Senior Police Academy is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, November 14, 2012. The Academy will continue through March of 2013, with classes meeting every Wednesday morning from 9am until 11am at the Red Mountain Station, located at 4333 E. University Drive. This is a great opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of the police department. More information, including how to register, can be found here.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Drugs with Street Value of $425,000 Seized During Arrest

On 09/13/2012 in the late afternoon hours, Mesa Police detectives were conducting surveillance on suspected drug dealers. Information obtained indicated that the suspects, Cruz Alarcon-Lozano and Jorge Gutierez, were using PVC pipes to transport and distribute Heroin around the valley.

Gutierez was seen leaving the 4000 block of East Contessa in Mesa in a vehicle. Detectives began following him and made a stop for a traffic violation. During the stop, detectives were given consent to search the vehicle and located five 5-1/2 foot PVC tubes with capped ends. The content of the tubes was checked and confirmed to be Heroin. At the time of the stop, Gutierez had his 4-month-old daughter in a car seat in the back seat along with the drugs. Gutierez was taken into custody at that time. The mother of the infant responded and took custody of the child.

At approximately the same time, a second vehicle was seen leaving the Contessa address. Detectives followed and eventually watched as the driver, Cruz Lozano, stopped in front of a vacant residence and threw a PVC tube into the bushes. The tube was retrieved and the content was confirmed to be Heroin. A traffic stop was made and Lozano was taken into custody. The combined amount of heroin from the two stops was 10.2 pounds.

 During a search warrant related to the stops, an additional 4 pounds of Methamphetamine was recovered. The total street value of the drugs was estimated to be $425,000.  Gutierez was booked for numerous drug charges and child endangerment. Lozano was booked for drug charges.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week

Prevention for the Home

A dark home at night and too much plant growth around your home can be an invitation for burglars. Trimming bushes down to 3 feet in height and trees up to 6 feet leaves no where for a burglar to hide. Leave a porch light on to illuminate the front of your home at night. Burglars would rather break into a home that is not lit, than one that is.

More crime prevention information can be found at

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mesa Police Using Technology to Render Borders Meaningless

By Chief Frank Milstead, Mesa Police Department

Combating crime in a city like Mesa, Ariz., is never easy, but my officers here have done an amazing job of reducing crime to historic lows that haven’t been seen in 50 years. We have been able to dramatically reduce crime by 25 percent since 1991.
We’ve had a number of recent successes in reducing crime, but one incident in particular sticks in my head. Mesa PD is host of the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center.  The center is a combined effort between seven local law enforcement agencies to share information and we have already seen the value of sharing information.  Earlier this year, a detective in the East Valley Gang and Criminal Information Fusion Center was monitoring the patrol radio and heard a partial license plate and a vehicle description referencing a hit and run collision broadcasted over the air.  We were able to identify that four possible vehicles fit this description in near real time. This information, along with other identifying characteristics of the owner of the car allowed the detective to identify the suspect, pass the information to officers on the scene.  The officers in the field were able to quickly locate the suspect.

While we may not always enjoy such historic low crime numbers, I am proud of the crime fighting efforts our officers have exerted in getting us here.  We will continue these efforts with vigor and continue to evaluate our processes so our citizens and visitors may continue to enjoy a safe living and working environment.  Part of this evaluation process will include a look towards technology assisted policing.  We are now embracing a Smarter Policing approach that allows us to coordinate traditional police work with more strategic use of our resources like analytics technology to gain a more holistic view of our city. Smarter Policing brings together the art and science of law enforcement that augments the experience and knowledge of our officers with the information they need to make appropriate decisions.

Smarter Policing couldn’t come at a more important time for our city. Check that, it couldn’t come at a more important time for our region because crime knows no borders. Criminals don’t care where a city’s borders begin and end. They only care about not getting caught. This has created huge challenges for me and my colleagues in neighboring cities. We were confined to our borders and really didn’t have insight into what happened a couple miles away because it wasn’t in our jurisdiction. But that is changing along with the technology to keep pace with a faster-paced, more complex world.

Using the IBM COPLINK technology we are now able to share information with neighboring cities like Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and almost 50 other cities throughout the state of Arizona…essentially tearing down those invisible barriers.
Now we have taken it a step farther. Because criminals don’t just operate in one state, we have created similar relationships with police and sheriff’s departments in places like Orange County, Calif., and we are developing relationships with other agencies in Nevada and Colorado.

Sharing information with other states helps fill in the gaps that help our investigators.  For example, other states have lacked pictures of subjects and through accessing our systems have found photos to confirm the subjects identification.  In addition, we have been able to enhance our investigations by adding relationships to others as well as linking together phone numbers, addresses and vehicle information from other states.  In addition, a large benefit has been that our investigators have established strong ties with others in our border states.  Working together across state lines definitely supports reducing crime.

In addition, we just launched a very successful proof of concept that links our information with the NCIS Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX) initiative.  This will allow us to be connected with 39 other agencies in the greater New Mexico area. The project is meant to foster the sharing of information between local, state, and federal law enforcement. It also provides participating law enforcement agencies with secure access to regional crime and incident data that enable investigators to search across jurisdictional boundaries to help solve crimes and resolve suspicious events.

These are just the first of many steps we need to take to really combat crime. We need to truly render geographic borders irrelevant when it comes to fighting crime. We need to be able to share and have access to the right information regardless of where it resides. We need to do all we can to not only protect the safety of the residents of Mesa and our neighboring cities, but also protect those across state borders. Only then will we be truly doing our Smartest Policing.

About Chief Milstead:

Chief Frank Milstead was selected to lead the Mesa Police Department on March 22, 2010 after 25 years of service to the Phoenix Police Department. He leads a department of more than 1200 men and woman, sworn and civilian, dedicated to providing exceptional police service to the third largest city in Arizona. He has pledged to leverage the talents and resources of the Mesa Police Department and its partners to make Mesa a safer city. In December 2011 Forbes Magazine named Mesa, Arizona the 7th safest Major city in the United States.

During his tenure with the Phoenix Police department Chief Milstead demonstrated highly successful leadership and management skill, serving in several high-profile positions that included command positions in the Homeland Defense Bureau, Major Offender Bureau and the Traffic Bureau. Chief Milstead was also involved in several multi-agency high-status cases, served in the Unified Command structure for Super Bowl 42 and the 2009 NBA All Star games, and maintains All Hazard Incident Commander status.

The above article appears at Building a Smarter Planet: A Smarter Planet Blog, 09/11/12.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back to School - Driver/Student Safety Tips

Safety tips for drivers
1. Follow all speed and parking laws. School areas are well marked. Park only in designated areas.
2. Talk to your child about where to meet and when.
3. Be patient . Allow plenty of time to deal with heavy traffic flow for the beginning and end of school.
4. Do not use cell phones or other potentially distracting devices while driving around schools.
5. Expect the unexpected. Students make mistakes when it comes to pedestrian and bicycle safety. Stop and look both ways before pulling out of the parking lot or side street.
Source: Mesa Police Department

Safety tips for students
• Students should walk their bikes and carry their scooters while on school property or in crosswalks.
• Do not enter the crosswalk until the crossing guard signals you to do so.
• Do not bounce balls in loading zones or crosswalks.
• Do not walk next to the curb in a loading/unloading zone or along the road. Stay away from the vehicles.
• Do not cross between cars or buses. Use crosswalks in parking lots and on the streets.
• No running.
• Parents should not unload/load passengers in the street or designated bus only zones.
• If you drop something in a parking lot, crosswalk or loading zone, get an adult. Do not go under a vehicle or chase after the item.
• Remind parents, school zones are 15MPH - No passing.
• Parents should not park in a loading zone. The vehicle must have an occupant who can legally operate the vehicle at all times.
• Remember: Safety over convenience.
Source: Higley Unified School District

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Summer Tactical Enforcement Action Mission
June 19th, 2012 through September 2nd, 2012
  • Operation STEAM is a coordinated crime-fighting effort directed at persons, places and activities that may lead to an increase in PART I crimes.
  • This operation consists of highly visible patrol operations, enforcement of statutes, and education on dangerous behaviors.
  • Operation STEAM deploys officers (25 of our top producers from Gangs and Patrol) based on current crime trends identified through CompStat and information leading to criminals and planned criminal activity.
  • The objective is to reduce PART I crimes by performing high visibility enforcement, contacts and education.
Below are the results from this summer operation:


Felonies                                 387
Misdemeanors                       857
Gang Members                      155

Seized Drugs:

Marijuana (grams)            1050.8
Cocaine (grams)                   41.2
Heroin (grams)                   15.35
Prescription Drugs (pills)        320
Other (grams)                   111.35


Field Interview Cards              925
On Views                             1085
Assumed Investigations         229
Reports/Supps Written        1448
Traffic Stops                        5251
Citations                                790
GMIC                                     265

***During this operation, our city realized a 3% reduction in Part I crimes**

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Crime Prevention Tip of the Week

Cell Phone Safety Tips

Don't give out personal information over the phone. This information includes bank information, social security number, drivers license number, home address, etc. If you are talking on your phone in public, those around you can hear your side of the conversation. You don't know who is listening and who will use your personal information to steal your identity.

When talking on your cell phone, be aware of your surroundings and who is coming and going. Concentrating more on your phone conversation than what is going on around you, makes you more likely to become a victim of crime.

More crime prevention information can be found at

RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) Class for Women

The next RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) training will be held on October 11, 16 and 18 from 5pm to 10pm at the Mesa Public Safety Training facility. You must attend all three classes. RAD is a 15-hour free hands-on self defense program for women only. These classes fill up very quickly. Contact Brenda Thorek at 480-644-4423 to register. If class is full, you will be placed on a waiting list for the next class. Read more about RAD at

Police vs. Fire Pizza Challenge!

Until September 15, diners at Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa can choose one of four pizzas developed by the Mesa Police & Fire departments. 20% of the proceeds will benefit the 100 Club of Arizona. The department with the most pizzas ordered will be announced as the winner at a Community Safety Fair on Saturday, September 15, from 2-5pm at Organ Stop. To support the police department, order the classic BBQ Chicken Pizza or the Hawaiian Five-0 Pizza with pepperoni, bacon, pineapple and onion. Organ Stop is located at the southwest corner of Southern and Stapley.See flyer for additional details.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


The Mesa Police Department has started a new blog.  In the coming weeks, you can expect posts regarding the following topics:

1.  Ask the Chief: Message your public appropriate question for Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead through our online form.  We will post your question and the Chief's response on this blog.

2.  Get to Know...: Once a month we will pose 5-10 questions to a member of the Mesa Police Department and post the questions and responses on this blog.  Get to know the people behind the uniform.

3.  Crime Stats: These posts will be a variety of crime statistics, either city wide or broken down by patrol districts, relating to topics such as: Top 5 calls for service; arrests; and a variety of other pertinent crime data.

These are just some of the coming post topics we will have as we get our blog up and rolling.  Please feel free to contact us regarding your opinions or suggestions for information you would like to see on our blog.

Have a Great Day,

Sgt. Tony Landato
Media Relations