Couple posing as real estate agent, homebuyer sentenced in burglaries

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
Deanna Gaw By Christina O'Haver Deanna Gaw By Christina O'Haver
John Gaw By Christina O'Haver John Gaw By Christina O'Haver

FLORENCE, Ariz. -- A Chandler couple who posed as a real estate agent and potential homebuyer to burglarize Pinal County homes have been sentenced to prison.

John Gaw, 45, and Deanna Gaw, 42, each pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary in plea agreements with the Pinal County Attorney's Office.

John Gaw, who pleaded guilty July 29, will serve 3.5 years at the Arizona Department of Corrections and then have five years of supervised probation. Deanna Gaw will serve a 2.5-year prison term and be on probation for another three years. She pleaded guilty April 14.

John Gaw, an actual real estate agent, used an online system to find homes for sale in the Saddlebrooke area and then posed as a potential homebuyer, according to a Pinal County Sheriff's Office report. Deanna Gaw posed as his agent and booked times for them to be at houses for sale without the homeowners present.

The burglaries occurred during those times.

Homeowners who had become suspicious reported the husband and wife to the sheriff's office July 10, providing descriptions of them and their vehicle.

A sheriff's deputy saw a similar vehicle with an expired Nevada license plate that day and pulled it over on Highway 77 as it traveled into Pima County.

The deputy saw latex gloves, women's jewelry and collectible coins on the floorboards and noted that the man and woman matched the descriptions provided by homeowners.

The deputy called for backup from the Pima County Sheriff's Office and the Gaws were arrested on suspicion of burlgary and fraud.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office filed indictments against the couple.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles said in a statement, "Exploiting an online real estate listing service, largely used by the real estate industry, these two criminals abused the trust individuals place in real estate agents to prey on and burglarize unsuspecting homeowners.

"Victim homeowners, suspicious of their activities, correctly contacted authorities and due to a successful investigation and prosecution, the defendant couple, who previously posed as a potential buyer and agent, has found a new home in prison for the next several years."