Thursday, January 16, 2014

Suspect Arrested After Lurking Around Closed Businesses

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Stopping crime before it happens, or being "proactive" as we say in law enforcement.  That is just what one of our officers was doing at 2 am on January 16th, when he noticed a white Chevy truck trolling the parking lot of closed businesses at Greenfield and McKellips.  Our officer, out of The Red Mountain Patrol District, got into a position where he could watch this individual without being seen.  The truck seemed to amble about the lot, slowing near businesses (which were closed) until it backed into a parking space in front of a Verizon Wireless store.

After only a couple of minutes, inexplicably, the truck drove off at a high rate of speed onto the roadway.  Our officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle for a traffic violation and contacted 37 year-old Rafael Luis Valenzuela.  Valenzuela was in possession of Marijuana and drug paraphernalia, for which he was arrested.  Inside the vehicle was a box of latex gloves and numerous tools, to include multiple lock/bolt cutters. 

Valenzuela gave no reason for being in Mesa, at 2 AM, in a parking lot full of closed businesses and gave a Phoenix address as his residence, before refusing further interview. A history check revealed Valenzuela had a criminal history of numerous burglaries in the Phoenix area.  So, a shout out to Officer Stoddard for some excellent, proactive police work. Way to represent brother!!!

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