Late Friday night, officers of the Maricopa Police Department may have found their man.
Sean Wilson, 21, believed to be a resident of Stanfield, was arrested by Maricopa Police in Casa Grande and charged for 32 counts of third-degree vehicle burglary and one count of trafficking in stolen property.
Wilson is charged with burglarizing motor vehicles between Dec. 22 and Dec. 28 in Maricopa.
MPD has investigated a total of 33 vehicle burglaries during the period, beginning with eight reported in the Maricopa Meadows area, according to the MPD probable cause statement.
The statement states that officers actually made contact with Wilson in the area on Dec. 22, the first day of the thefts. Only later did they identify him as a suspect in the burglaries.
“Upon contacting Sean (Wilson) he was asleep in his car after getting into a verbal fight with his girlfriend, but (he) refused to provide an address (where) he was at, or a name of his girlfriend,” the MPD report on the Dec. 22 incident states. “Officers were able to observe drug paraphernalia in plain view inside the vehicle and conducted a further search of the vehicle. Officers located other electronic items inside the vehicle and identified Sean had a pair of Vans shoes on the passenger floorboard.”
Wilson was released at that time pending a complaint on the possible drug charge. But the Vans would come into play later.
Two days later officers investigated a string of nine vehicle burglaries within a one-mile radius of the Cobblestone subdivision. Dec. 26, MPD received another 10 complaints of burglaries within a one-mile radius of Acacia Crossings.
After reviewing evidence in the case, including surveillance video from two different locations, they identified Wilson as a probable suspect based on the clothes and shoes the suspect was wearing in the video.
The shoes matched the Vans located on Wilson’s passenger floorboard that officers had seen back on Dec. 22, according to police documents.
Investigators also found Wilson had recently pawned items that were consistent with items taken in the burglaries.
Dec. 28, MPD officers responded to a report of a suspicious person wearing a red jacket in the Desert Cedars subdivision. A caller said the suspect was trying to break into cars about 6:15 a.m.
An officer came upon a parked car on North Soft Wind Drive and saw “someone’s legs hanging outside the door.”
The officer stopped and shined a light on the vehicle and the suspect exited. The officer, who was already aware of Wilson as a suspect in the burglaries, positively identified Wilson as the man exiting the vehicle.
Wilson fled the scene and escaped from officers, but police used his cellphone number to “ping” his phone’s location to the Maricopa Walmart. They could not find him there but located him later in Casa Grande by again “pinging” his phone. They went to Casa Grande and located him using his own cell phone as their guide, according to the probable cause statement.
Officers found several items believed to be taken in the burglaries in his car as well as clothing and the shoes he was believed to be wearing in video recordings of the burglaries.
During later interviews with investigators, Wilson allegedly admitted to committing the burglaries as well as selling and pawning some of the stolen items.
Wilson was taken to the Pinal County Jail and charged with the 33 counts and is being held on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled in Pinal County Superior Court Friday.
The story has been corrected to reflect the correct spelling of Soft Wind Drive.