Police warn of rental scam; one arrested

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By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

PHOENIX - Phoenix police have arrested a suspect involved in a string of burglaries and fraudulent schemes related to rental units in Phoenix and want renters to be on alert.

A series of fraud reports with similar vehicles, suspect descriptions and methods of operation have been identified in Phoenix, Glendale and Avondale.

Police believe suspects are targeting renters.

According to police, the suspects break into foreclosed homes and change the locks on the doors, place ads for a rental unit on a month-to-month basis with no credit checks.

The suspect has a key to gain entry into the home to show the potential renter and then ask for cash to move-in. In each incident $800 to $1900 in cash was pertained an initial payment for move in to a rental unit.

Once the suspect has obtained the money the suspect is never heard from again. The victims are left without a home when they discover the property they paid to rent is in foreclosure and bank owned.

In April, detectives arrested Raul Juarez, 35, after getting enough evidence to charge him with burglary and fraud schemes.

Juarez is just one of many suspects who are scamming victims.

Phoenix police know these crimes are happening throughout Phoenix and believe it is potentially happening Valley-wide, so the community should be aware of possible victimization.