4 arrested in repeated metal thefts in Peoria

Peoria metal thieves

Credit: Peoria Police Department

Top row: Michael Panyko and Daniel Harris
Bottom row: April Acevedo and Bridgette Harris


by Jennifer Thomas


Posted on May 14, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Updated Thursday, May 16 at 5:47 PM

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Four people were arrested for allegedly stealing $200,000 worth of metal from a vacant building in Peoria.

Peoria police spokeswoman Amanda Jacinto said the suspects spent several weeks stripping metal parts from commercial air-conditioning units on the roof of the building near Peoria and 91st avenues.

Officers began surveillance on the building and finally caught the team in the act on May 5. The officers said April Acevedo and Bridgette Harris served as lookouts while Michael Panyko and Daniel Harris climbed on the roof and threw the metal parts down from the roof to be collected later.

Police said the suspects admitted they made several trips to this location and would also target unattended construction vehicles to steal wire or other metal scraps and tools.

The suspects said they sold the scrap metal to recyclers in Phoenix to get money they needed to pay for their drug habits, according to Jacinto.

Police continue to investigate to determine if other suspects were involved in this incident.

If anyone knows more about this or other metal thefts they are urged to contact the police department at 623-773-7045 or PDTips@peoriaaz.gov.