Mesa family catches trio of burglars in the act

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 10:00 PM

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MESA, Ariz. -- What a Mesa man thought might be a visit from a friend turned out to be anything but.

"There was a car idling just on the other side of this fence here which was not all that unusual," said the man. "I thought it was someone coming to visit me."

What happened next  was so unusual that he doesn't want to share his name, but he is sharing the mid-afternoon scare that he never expected.

"We pulled up in our car from running errands and I walked to the front door and unlocked it," he said. "I took one step in and that's when I heard noise in the back bedroom and saw someone run out.

Police say a gang of three was working this burglary. The ring leader allegedly is 22-year-old Travis Schuetz, who had a 17-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy in tow.

"I just shut the door and called 911 and had my wife call 911," said the victim.

All the while, the getaway car still sat out front, and they reported the license plate number.

"About a minute later, two guys jumped over the fence from the backyard into the front yard here, and they were carrying a tote bag of my wife's and carrying some personal property, and they were armed with guns. Both of them," said the victim.

The trio sped off, but not very far. They pulled in to a pawn shop to try and sell a ring and some coins they took from the house. During the stop, Mesa Police spotted the car.

"They just kind of watched it for a while," said Sgt. Tony Landato. "Two people came out of the pawn shop and got in the car and drove off."

Schuetz and his crew led police on a car and foot chase before being caught hiding in a neighborhood trash can. By the end of the day, the victims had their property back, and only one small regret.

"I wish I was armed at the time but other than that, no," said the victim.

Schuetz now faces first degree burglary and a slew of other charges. Court paperwork shows he was already on probation for burglary at the time of this crime. His cohorts are in juvenile jail.

Police also learned their getaway car was stolen from Scottsdale late last week.
 

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