Citizen takes action to solve burglary spree

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Courtesy: Eric Moran) (Courtesy: Eric Moran)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

It was early Monday morning and Chandler police were responding to a break-in. Someone had stolen some items from a pickup truck. It was Eric Moran's pickup truck, which was parked in his driveway, in his gated community. This wasn't the first time it had happened.

“Probably a couple thousand dollars' worth of stuff taken out of the cars over the past year and a half," said Moran, who lives with his wife and three children.

But this time was different. This time Moran was going to do something about it.

"I decided that I wanted to see if I could find my stolen property," he said.

He found it for sale in the "Offer Up" online marketplace.

"I immediately knew that I got the guy,” said Moran.

He called Chandler police and they set up a sting. Moran texted the seller and arranged a meeting place and that's when the real surprise happened. The man selling Moran’s stolen personal property was one of his own neighbors.

"I took a picture, a screen shot of the map and it was just a two-minute walk from my house," said Moran.

Here is what happened when 23-year-old Jacob Bagby showed up to unknowingly sell Moran’s own property back to him.

"He was standing there with his bicycle and a bag of stuff. Within seconds, police were all over him. There must have been 10 police officers there. You could tell that he was pretty shocked that I caught him," said Moran.

Moran says he later learned there was a rash of burglaries in his neighborhood. The key to him identifying his stolen property is that he had the serial number from one of the expensive items, which was an automobile tuner. He says he would still like his drill set back, but he feels empowered.

“I felt like I had done something that is now going to be positive for our neighborhood and I don't think he's going to try to mess with my truck again," said Moran.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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