Man suspected in 42 burglaries; MO similar to 'Rock Burglar'

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Kilian Hale By Jennifer Thomas Kilian Hale By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested a suspect who is believed to be connected to dozens of property crimes and burglaries in the East Valley.

Kilian Hale, 50, of Sun Lakes, is facing charges of trafficking stolen property, burglary, dangerous drug possession and possession of marijuana.

According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, deputies began surveillance on Hale after receiving a tip from the Chandler Police Department. During the surveillance, deputies witnessed Hale sell goods taken during the burglaries to Valley pawn shops.

Deputies believe Hale, who resides with his mother, is responsible for at least 42 burglaries this summer in the Sun Lakes, Chandler and Phoenix areas.

Deputies executed several search warrants and recovered some of the stolen items.

The value of the stolen items, including coins, cash, jewelry, stamp collections and other valuables, is estimated to be more than $100,000.

Arpaio said Hale's method of operation was very similar to the "Rock Burglar," who eluded law enforcement for 17 years until he was caught by Maricopa County sheriff's deputies in May 2011. Robert James Neese is thought to have been responsible for more than 400 burglaries in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek and Fountain Hills.

Like the "Rock Burglar," Hale would case a home then use a rock to break in once he determined no one was inside, according to MCSO.

Deputies are still working the case and believe there may be other suspects involved with Hale. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 602-876-1011. Also, any pawn shops that have dealt with Hale in the past are asked to contact MCSO.