U.S. Marshals arrest 151 in Operation Grinch Stopper 2

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by azfamily.com

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on December 20, 2013 at 7:22 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 26 at 4:21 PM

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Marshal Service, with the help of law-enforcement agencies throughout the state, arrested more than 150 people in a three-day operation called Operation Grinch Stopper 2.

Nearly 30 agencies took part in the operation. Of the arrests, 112 were in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. An additional 39 arrests were made in and around Tucson, Yuma and Flagstaff.

Operation Grinch Stopper was created last year after Tucson police Sgt. Robert Carpenter was shot while responding to a burglary alarm. Carpenter survived.

"For the second year in a row, Deputy U.S. Marshals and our law enforcement partners in Arizona have targeted and arrested individuals who have victimized others for their hard-earned money and possessions," said David P. Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona. "Law-abiding citizens can feel secure that there are far fewer thieves, fences, robbers and burglars on the streets this holiday season."

The U.S. Marshals Service, the nation's oldest federal law-enforcement agency, highlighted three arrests made in Phoenix.

• Luke Cross, 29, was wanted by authorities in Boise, Idaho for grand theft, aggravated assault, and malicious injury to property. Cross allegedly attempted to sell a stolen bicycle at a Boise-area pawn shop. An employee recognized the bike as stolen and attempted to detain Cross; in his attempt to escape, Cross assaulted another shopper with a golf club. After fleeing the pawn shop, Cross entered a vehicle and attempted to run the pursuing employee over prior to leaving the parking lot. Cross fled to Arizona, and was located at a healthcare facility in Mesa where he was arrested without incident. Cross is being held on $250,000 bond and is pending extradition to Idaho.

• Richard Dumas, 44, was wanted by Maricopa County prosecutors after being indicted for eight counts of organized retail theft. Dumas, a former Phoenix Suns basketball player, was located at the “Dumas and Friends Athletic Association” in Litchfield Park and arrested without incident.

• Christina Burke, 44, had been on the run from Maricopa County authorities since 2009 for theft. She was sought in new charges brought against her in 2013, involving 40 counts of making false statements to obtain benefits, fraudulent schemes, and theft. Burke was located and arrested in Scottsdale without incident.

"As prosecutors, we welcome the opportunity to hold accountable those who unlawfully take from others in this season of giving," remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "This operation underscores the ongoing partnership among law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels which the people of Maricopa County will continue to see throughout the coming year."

The fugitives arrested were wanted on a variety of charges.

  • Robbery: 6
  • Burglary: 20
  • Theft/larceny: 30
  • Stolen property: 11
  • Assault: 12
  • Child abuse: 3
  • Weapons offense: 3
  • Sex offense: 3
  • Drug offense: 25
  • Other offenses (DUI, criminal damage, etc.): 29

By the end of the operation, which ran Dec. 17-19, the participating agencies had cleared 138 outstanding warrants in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

Participating agencies

  • Apache Junction Police Department
  • Arizona Department Of Corrections
  • Arizona Department Of Public Safety
  • Avondale Police Department
  • Buckeye Police Department
  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives
  • Casa Grande Police Department
  • Chandler Police Department
  • Coconino County Sheriff’s Office
  • Eloy Police Department
  • Flagstaff Police Department
  • Florence Police Department
  • Gilbert Police Department
  • Glendale Police Department
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Maricopa County Adult Probation
  • Maricopa County Attorney’s Office
  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Maricopa Police Department
  • Mesa Police Department
  • Peoria Police Department
  • Phoenix Police Department
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
  • Scottsdale Police Department
  • Surprise Police Department
  • Tempe Police Department
  • Tolleson Police Department

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