Burglary suspects mistakenly turn themselves in to Tempe Police

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz.---  A couple of suspected criminals mistakenly surrendered to Tempe Police this week.

Officers targeted an alley near McClintock and Baseline for surveillance, after a string of recent burglaries and crime in the area.

Officer J. Alexander, his partner, and members of the SWAT Tactical Response Unit were parked with their lights off when two 'suspicious' men approached.

"They split up, and one came around the passenger's side while the other came around the driver's side," Alexander told 3TV.

The suspects then opened the police car doors, and went to climb inside.   

"I was completely taken aback when he climbed in. He almost immediately realized he was in a police car," said Alexander.

The hard plastic back seats, along with the bars on the windows made it obvious, even to these suspects, that they were in a police car.

The suspects, Paul Gardener and Chad Leakey, took off, but were quickly caught by the officers.

"They're not the brightest criminals. They broke into a vehicle with two SWAT officers inside, so it was a bad day for them," Alexander said.

"We caught two guys who were out terrorizing a neighborhood, only they came to us before we got to them," Sgt. Mike Pooley added.

Gardener and Leakey face drug and burglary charges. Police say they were found with stolen mail.