Security guard helps nab burglar at local animal rescue

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Christopher Simpson By Jennifer Thomas Christopher Simpson By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A Valley animal rescue isn't just used to picking up pets, they've also gotten pretty good at cleaning up after criminals.

Halo Animal Rescue near 35th Avenue and Camelback Road was the victim of another break-in early Tuesday morning after a man tossed a boulder into a front glass window and reached his arms in, looking for loot.

"They broke it open, found out there was no money inside and then they grabbed our laptop," said Shelly Torkelson, who works at the rescue. "First thing I thought was, 'I can't believe we got robbed ... again.'"

In April, two thieves ripped a donation box off of the nonprofit's counter, and several days later a truck belonging to the rescue was hot-wired and driven right out of their parking lot, which was fenced in.

Donations have since been made to replace the vehicle, but the rescue has still taken a hit.

"And the summer is a bad time for us because there's so many puppies and kittens in the summer that are coming through our doors," Torkelson said.

But this story had a happier ending.

At around the time the burglar was casing the building, Don -- who doesn't want to give his last name -- was working at a safety officer at Grand Canyon University, right next door.

"I just happened to see a gentleman walking around Halo ... he was looking in all the windows on the north side and all the glass front door and windows," he said.

Don said he also heard the crash and a man walking away with something in his hands, so he called the police.

He said that's when officers arrested Christopher Simpson, 26, for burglary and other charges.

Don said while the suspects in the other incidents haven't been caught, he's glad he could help and hopes Halo can get back to a little more peace and quiet ... at least when it comes to criminals.

"If I have to do it again, I will," he said.