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Suspect in Tempe school burglary is former student

by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 23 at 11:45 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Police officers arrested a man suspected of burglarizing a Tempe high school after an employee spotted him on security video.

Jeffrey Thomas Locher, 22, of Chandler was arrested near Rural and Knox roads in Tempe after police say he broke into Corona del Sol High School and removed a computer Saturday morning.

According to Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Steve Carbajal, Saturday's incident was the fourth burglary reported at the high school since May 28, resulting in nearly $80,000 in losses. The most recent burglary occurred on Aug. 21.

Carbajal said a school employee, Andy Meyer, had been monitoring the live school security video in an attempt to catch the suspect in the act should he strike again. As he monitored the security video Saturday morning, he spotted an individual, later identified as Locher, inside the school.

Locher was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and gloves, which was consistent with the suspect from the Aug. 21 burglary. Meyer immediately called the Tempe Police Department to report the incident.

Locher fled on foot and officers found him on the church property next to the high school. He was positively identified from the video. Carbajal said Locher also had scratches and tears in his clothing consistent with scaling the nearly 10-foot fence surrounding the high school.

The school resource officer located a set of keys to the school at the crime scene. Police believe Locher used the keys to enter the school as there were no signs of forced entry.

Locher was placed under arrest and booked into Tempe City Jail. He is facing one count of third-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree criminal trespassing.

Investigators are checking open burglary cases with similar circumstances for any connection to Locher.

Carbajal said Locher is a 2006 graduate of Corona del Sol High School.

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