Thieves target pool equipment in Tempe

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TEMPE, Ariz. – The Tempe Police Department is warning residents about an increase in pool equipment thefts.

Thieves have been illegally entering yards through unlocked gates or jumping over fences and taking pool pumps and vacuums, according to police. There has been no sign of forced entry and the homes have usually had a yard with alley access.

There were 35 reported equipment thefts between Feb. 22 and May 26. Most of the incidents occurred on weekends between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The thefts have occurred across Tempe, but most have been south of Baseline Road.

Police released some tips to avoid being a victim:

• Talk with neighbors and look out for each other.

• Be on the lookout and attuned to suspicious activity.

• Lock gates.

• Secure pool equipment.

• Register cleaners/pumps with the manufacturers and know there is a risk when buying these types of items from individuals who don't have proof of purchase. If a contracted pool cleaner offers to replace pool equipment at your residence, request to see documentation for purchase of the equipment.

Tempe patrol officers and detectives have been working closely with investigators from neighboring law enforcement agencies, salvage yard management and pool supply stores to deter and apprehend those responsible for the thefts.

Call the Tempe Police Department's non-emergency line at 480-350-8311 for suspicious activity and call 911 in an emergency.