Man arrested for stealing pool cleaners in Phoenix

Posted: Updated:
Michael Pilato By Jennifer Thomas Michael Pilato By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Police officers arrested a man suspected of stealing automated pool cleaners from two Phoenix homes and could be responsible for more than 150 similar thefts.

Since May, as many as 157 similar burglaries have occurred in the area between Tatum Boulevard and Scottsdale Road and Beardsley Road to Cactus Road, according to Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson.

Thompson said detectives identified Michael Pilato, 24, as a potential suspect.

On Oct. 20, a surveillance team observed Pilato climb over a fence into the backyard of a home near 67th Street and Thunderbird Road. A short time later, he left the yard with an automated pool cleaner and hose.

On Monday, the surveillance team saw Pilato climb over a fence near 56th Street and Greenway Road and come out with another automated pool cleaner and hose. Pilato loaded it in his car and left. He was stopped and arrested without incident.

Pilato was booked into the Maricopa County Jail. He was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft. Thompson said police believe he is responsible for many more of these crimes and detectives are looking into the other cases.