2 women arrested in tailgate theft case

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Lisa Navarro, left, and Carisa Aguilar, right. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Lisa Navarro, left, and Carisa Aguilar, right. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Lisa Navarro, 43. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Lisa Navarro, 43. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Carisa Aguilar, 42. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Carisa Aguilar, 42. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
One of the tailgate thefts linked to the pair occurred at Tel Tech Networks near Seventh Street and University Drive in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) One of the tailgate thefts linked to the pair occurred at Tel Tech Networks near Seventh Street and University Drive in Phoenix. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Phoenix police have arrested two women in connection with a string of tailgate thefts.

Lisa Navarro, 43, and Carisa Aguilar, 42, face a list of felony charges.

There has been a rash of tailgate thefts throughout the Valley. Phoenix police alone have taken more than 160 tailgate theft reports in the past year, according to department spokesman Sgt. Alan Pfohl.

[RELATED: Thieves are targeting tailgates in broad daylight]

To combat the problem, investigators did a media push and reached out to the public through a service announcement and shortly after, an anonymous tip led them to one of the suspects.

“Last Thursday, two women were arrested in south Phoenix after our undercover detectives and the police helicopter followed them and actually observed them taking a tailgate,” said Pfohl.

Navarro and Aguilar have been linked to seven tailgate thefts but police believe they may be responsible for many more.  

“They'll be going back to see if they can match them up to any fingerprints that they were able to obtain. Obviously, I don't think we're going to be able to clear all of them but we are hoping to at least clear some more up with these two,” said Pfohl.

[RELATED: Arizona ranks high for tailgate thefts]

One of the tailgate thefts linked to the pair occurred at Tel Tech Networks near Seventh Street and University Drive in Phoenix.

Daniel Frakes, the company’s safety administrator, shared the video captured by one of the security cameras mounted on the main office building.

“It was amazing because we have a lunchroom that faces the window outside of where the tailgate was stolen. And people go in there all the time. And it was just hit or miss that nobody was in there at the time of the tailgate getting stolen,” said Frakes.

The theft cost the company about $2,700, according to Frakes. Shortly after the theft, safeguards were put in place.

“We've put new procedures in place. We've added some locks on the tailgates so a suspect can't just roll up and take our tailgate in under a minute. It would actually take them longer than that. So, they're not going to stick around and try to steal our tailgates,” said Frakes.

Police say thieves turn around and sell the tailgates on Craigslist for a couple of hundred dollars.

Frakes was unaware the person police believe ripped his company off had been taken into custody. When we told him, he was thrilled.

“We're just ecstatic about it because it's good to put that message out there that, hey, if you do something around here, you're going to get caught. There's [sic] so many camera systems out nowadays that to be a criminal you got to be out of your mind,” said Frakes. 

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Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

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Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

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