Police Catch Burglary Suspects with Help from Citizen

On August 26, 2011 at 3:00 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 4300 block of East Cherry Hills Dr. for the report of an active car burglary.  An alert citizen called 911 after seeing three male subjects removing items out of a vehicle, and leave the scene in a black sport utility vehicle.  As a responding patrol officer was driving to the scene he spotted a black sport utility vehicle driving away from the neighborhood.  

The officer stopped the vehicle finding three male subjects inside.  Items removed from the victim’s vehicle were located inside the black sport utility vehicle, along with drugs and a stolen firearm.  The three subjects, 19-year-old Tempe resident Joel Arthur, 23-year-old Phoenix resident Rudy Stegeman, and 27-year-old transient Joseph Lugo, were taken into custody. 

All three subjects were booked into the Maricopa County Jail on a single count of burglary, theft, and possession of burglary tools, marijuana, prescription drugs, and narcotic drugs.  Lugo, the driver of the getaway vehicle, was also charged with one count of driving on a suspended driver’s license. 

This incident is a great example of a positive outcome when citizens become involved in stopping crime.  In this case, the witness provided detailed information of the suspects, getaway vehicle, and the direction from which they left the scene.  Working together, citizens and the police can promote a safe community by deterring criminal behavior and catching perpetrators in the commission of a criminal act.  

To find out more information about the Block Watch program call (480) 782-4967 or go to www.chandlerpd.com/community/block-watch/

For further information contact Detective Seth Tyler.