GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Glendale police say they’ve arrested two teenagers who are believed to be responsible for almost all of the tailgate thefts in the Valley since February.
According to police, Undercover Street Crime Detectives began investigating the thefts and gathered information that led them to 18-year-old Nelson Lopez and 19-year-old Jose Cervantes.
With assistance from Phoenix police and the DPS Auto Theft Task Force, detectives were able to observe Lopez and Cervantes removing tailgates from trucks in locations ranging from Glendale to Tempe.
Detectives were also able to set up undercover purchases of stolen tailgates from Lopez and Cervantes.
Search warrants were served at a home and storage facility in Glendale, and on Thursday Lopez and Cervantes were arrested.
Police said Lopez and Cervantes admitted to the crimes, and detectives were able to retrieve some of the stolen tailgates.
Detectives have connected Lopez and Cervantes to 19 tailgate thefts so far, but police said the duo is suspected of stealing almost 70 tailgates.
Lopez and Cervantes have been charged with felony theft, money laundering and several counts of trafficking stolen property.