BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Buckeye man suspected in a string of vehicle burglaries and at least one home break-in hit targets within a 4-mile radius of the home he shares with his mother, police say. Police arrested Paul Tafoya, 23, on Nov. 5 after a short chase.
[WATCH: Burglar is caught in the act]
The burglaries happened on Oct. 25. Police say three people reported that somebody had broken into their vehicles and a fourth person told police he found a stranger holding a gas can in his garage in the area of Yuma and Watson roads. That homeowner and his wife picked Tafoya out of a photo lineup. The victim said he chased Tafoya out of his garage and snapped photos of his vehicle as he drove away. According to court documents, police spotted that vehicle and saw Tafoya run into his mother’s home. Buckeye Police Department spokeswoman Donna Rossi said Tafoya took off running and hid from police, who then got a search warrant and discovered some of the stolen property in Tafoya’s car.
Once Tafoya, who was on the run, was identified and probable cause for his arrest established, police were able to stake him out.
They tracked Tafoya on Tuesday to a Buckeye home and saw him get into the passenger side of the vehicle located earlier. Officers pulled over the vehicle, but ran away and jumped a chain-link fence before officers caught up to him and placed him under arrest. Police said injured himself, as did one of the officers chasing him.
Rossi said Tafoya admitted burglarizing more than 13 vehicles on Oct. 25. He also admitted being in the fourth victim’s garage and running away after the victim confronted him.
Tafoya was booked into the Maricopa County Fourth Avenue Jail on multiple felony charges, including burglary, theft and resisting arrest. A judge set a secured appearance bond of $5,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 15.