Phoenix police seek serial burglar targeting jewelry, electronics

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Shadd Wayne Sowell By Jennifer Thomas Shadd Wayne Sowell By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX – Phoenix police are asking for the public's help in locating a serial burglar.

Police said DNA samples from four residential burglaries and one commercial burglary have been matched to Shadd Wayne Sowell, 44.

Officer James Holmes said the suspect has been targeting high-end jewelry and electronics. He said Sowell breaks the glass of a door or window to gain entry.

"He likes to pick up rocks or objects and just throw them through a window, throw them through a door and then go inside," Holmes said.

During a 2013 residential burglary, over $25,000 worth of jewelry and sports memorabilia were stolen after the suspect used a rock to break a front window.

An officer swabbed the rock to obtain a DNA sample.

In two other burglaries, the suspect left blood at the scene. During two others, the suspect removed a drink from the victim's refrigerator, drank from the container and left it behind. The containers were collected and processed for DNA.

All of the samples were matched back to a DNA sample stored with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. DPS has filed charges and has an active warrant for Sowell's arrest.

"We don't have a big pawn shop history on him, which tells us that whatever it is he's stealing he's actually selling out on the streets, a good assumption, for drugs, based on his history," Holmes said.

No residents been home when these burglaries occurred.

Police believe Sowell has been involved in several more burglaries.

"We're going to have to backtrack and look at a lot of the burglaries, look at the methods of operation to see if we can connect him that way, maybe fingerprints that have been taken in those burglaries, also," Holmes said.

Police have released a photo of Sowell and described him as Caucasian, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 175 pounds with green eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information concerning Sowell's whereabouts is asked to contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Callers may remain anonymous.