Naked burglary suspects arrested; victim found with alligator and pot

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police responded to a bizarre burglary report early Monday morning, arresting two naked suspects and a victim for possession of marijuana and a live alligator.

According to police, the two suspects said they’d been shooting heroin and using spice before looking to break into a random car in the 1600 block of La Jolla. But the intended victim caught 18-year-old Anthony Gammon and 20-year-old Alberto Rosciano red-handed, forcing them into his apartment at gunpoint.

“And makes them strip down naked to make sure they don’t have any other stolen items on them,” said Sgt. Jeff Glover with the Tempe Police Department. “He stripped them down naked but allowed them to have their car keys … then forces them to leave his apartment.”

Witnesses called police as Gammon and Rosciano sped away from the apartment complex. They were pulled over shortly after.

“Surprising to our officers out on the scene, they ended up pulling over our two suspects and they were both naked -- still,” Glover said. 

The two were arrested for burglary, as well as weapons and drug paraphernalia charges. However, they were not charged with indecency due to the fact they were forced to strip down.

“At least one of them did state that they felt that it was unnecessary for them to be stripped down naked and that they felt humiliated by the victim,” Glover said.

But the victim, Anthony Burton, ended up in trouble himself. When officers visited Burton’s apartment they found out why he had tried to handle the situation himself rather than calling police. In his apartment, officers found large quantities of marijuana and a 2-foot-long Florida alligator Burton said he’d ordered online -- illegal in Arizona.

Police arrested Burton, 29, for possession of marijuana as well as illegal possession of wildlife.

The alligator was turned over to the Phoenix Herpetological Society, a preservation group specializing in exotic reptiles.

“More and more we keep taking these out of homes," said Daniel Marchand with the Phoenix Herpetological Society. "We’ve taken a few out of local lakes and rivers that we have taken from the desert -- that people have released. It’s just a huge, huge problem.”

Alligators have no natural predators in Arizona and can easily reach the full size of 14 feet, 1,000 pounds, while living in the desert waterways.

“If this guy’s in the lake and, you know, he’s of any size then damage can occur -- very dangerous,” Marchand said.