Police: Serial burglar used stolen garage door openers in crime spree

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 11 at 11:54 AM

Map: 54th Street and Michelle Drive
56th Street and Deer Valley

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PHOENIX -- Police are searching for the suspect behind a string of burglaries in a Phoenix neighborhood.

Investigators already have identified at least three victims after finding an abandoned vehicle packed with stolen property.

A resident reported a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood north of Bell Road between Tatum Boulevard and 56th Street late Wednesday night. The caller said the driver might be breaking into cars and garages.

The suspect fled when officers tried to stop him. Police later found the vehicle abandoned in the area of 56th Street and Deer Valley Road, which is less than 2.5 miles north of where it was first reported.

When officers searched the car, they found about 50 items of stolen property and at least six garage door openers.

Police believe the suspect snatched the remotes from unlocked vehicles in driveways, and then used them to go inside the garages and steal whatever he could find.

"This may just be a good time to warn our citizens, once again, against leaving garage door openers in their cars and in plain view," Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department wrote in an email to 3TV. He also advised people to make sure their cars are always locked, even -- perhaps especially -- when they are parked in front of their homes.

Police do not have a description of the suspect and have not released any details about the vehicle or what they discovered inside.

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