PD: Pair responsible for hundreds of vehicle burglariesPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- A man and a woman are believed to be responsible for hundreds vehicle burglaries from vehicles in the West Valley since October.
Michael Lopez, 33, and Lindsay Rynish, 25, were booked into jail on multiple counts of burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
Police said Lopez and Rynish victimized hundreds of people primarily in the West Valley and their primary target appeared to be gyms.
Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said the suspects would watch the parking lots of health clubs, dog parks, trail heads, day care centers, golf courses and softball/baseball fields then do a "smash and grab," taking purses, wallets and other valuables when victims left their cars.
The suspects would then use the victims' credit and debit cards at gas stations, grocery stores and convenience markets.
Victims and witnesses reported a red Jeep in the area of several of the burglaries.
Holmes said the identity of the "Red Jeep Bandits" was discovered in December from video surveillance at a drive-through where they used a stolen credit card. Officers began following the suspects and the red Jeep.
Police saw Lopez and Rynish break into a vehicle at a Glendale day care center. Officers followed their spending spree with the newly stolen cards and served a search warrant at a home near 107th Avenue and Camelback Road where both suspects were arrested.
Officers found 50 to 75 purses and wallets in the house and Jeep, Holmes said.
Police said Lopez and Rynish admitted to the crimes.
Phoenix police worked with Glendale, Avondale and Peoria police to link the suspects to burglaries in those cities. Police recovered several of the victims' items.
Police are expecting many more charges against the suspects as additional victims are identified.
Police caution motorists against leaving valuables in their automobiles.