Michael Avitia (PCSO)

Michael Avitia, 19, was arrested Tuesday on a recommended charge of second-degree burglary of a home on Alamendras Street in Acacia Crossings that was burglarized back in March.

Dec. 12, Maricopa Police Department received a scientific examination report which identified Avitia’s fingerprints on the north exterior patio window and window screen at the targeted home. When the house was burglarized, the victim identified 10 items being stolen with a combined value of $3,885.

An officer made contact with Avitia at a park Tuesday on Alamendras Street and Gatun Avenue, where police proceeded to interview him. Avitia told officers he was trying to “help some people” who he was unable to identify other than the fact they lived in Phoenix. Avitia allegedly told officers he had been watching multiple homes in Maricopa and identified two of them as good targets to burglarize.

He stated he learned the residents of the home’s schedule and knew when they would leave for work. He also noted that they had nice cars, which led him to assume they had expensive items in their home.

According to the police report, officers learned Avitia’s strategy to get into the home. He allegedly threw a rock to break the window after attempting to remove the screens where his fingerprints were found. Avitia stated he burglarized another home on Gavilan Drive by prying open the backyard sliding glass door with a crowbar.

Avitia allegedly told MPD he was working with a Phoenix “crew,” who paid him $100 to burglarize homes and turn over all stolen goods to them. Avitia stated he lived in Phoenix but relocated to Maricopa for a while and would tell the crew about the easy targets he found. When questioned about the identity of the crew, Avitia told police he did not know any names because they only go by “unknown nicknames.”

Michael Avitia was arrested and booked into Pinal County Jail.