Two women and man arrested in thefts targeting snowbirds

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The following press release was sent by the Surprise Police Department:

SURPRISE - Detectives from the Surprise Police Department have arrested a man and two women responsible for numerous burglaries and thefts.Police believe that the burglars, Lisa Lynn Soto, age 37, Erika McCarthy, age 20, and Hector Zazueta, age 55, all from Phoenix AZ, have been responsible for at least 12 burglaries in Surprise and the neighboring Sun Cities.

Detectives began their 200 plus hour investigation and surveillance on the trio after two homes in the Sun City Grand community were burglarized in April 2008.The burglars took over $100k in jewelry, rare coins, guns and electronics.Forensic evidence collected at one of the crime scenes lead detectives to one of the burglars who was taken into custody on September 19, 2008.The other two suspects were linked to the crimes and were arrested shortly thereafter.Search warrants served on the trio's hotel room's netted stolen property and pawn slips linking them to other unsolved burglaries.

Detectives have charged the members of the group with Burglary, Theft, Trafficking in Stolen Property, Possession of Dangerous Drugs, and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary.

Detective Mike Baldwin, of the Surprise Police Department stated that it became very evident during the investigation and interviews, that the suspects had a preference for homes in retirement communities that appeared vacant or to belong to " snowbirds".Baldwin went on to stress the importance of identifying personal property."Serial numbers and descriptions of the stolen property were vital in this investigation."