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Police arrest 8 in midtown burglaries this month, alert neighbors help

Posted at 5:38 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 08:23:29-04
Susan Kaleita and John Moeller said they came home from work earlier this month and noticed that their back window was broken. 
"Then we discovered that the home had been ransacked a little bit," said Kaleita. "Some of our items had been taken."
They checked their surveillance system and found that they had caught the suspect on video walking around their backyard and then leaving through the easement with their stuff. They called police and then posted the images on a social media app called Nextdoor.
"One of our neighbors saw him again in the neighborhood and she noticed him going up and down the streets and saw the suspicious activity and called it in," said Moeller.
Thanks to that neighbor's call, police arrested 21-year-old Raymond Lopez and say they were able to connect him to two other burglaries in the neighborhood.
He's one of eight people arrested by police since June 1, in a slew of midtown burglaries. 
"It's been a pretty active week and a half," said Sgt. Aaron Wine with TPD. 
Police say those arrested are 23-year-old Nicole Clinton, 37-year-old Albert Graham, 26-year-old Richard Grabowski, 21-year-old Raymond Lopez, 42-year-old Richard Long, 27-year-old Alonso Rodriguez and 27-year-old Jose Anguiano-Ramirez. The eighth suspect is a juvenile so police could not release his name or mugshot. 
Police say these eight suspects have been tied to at least 9 burglaries in the midtown division since early June. 
Wine says neighbors also helped catch another burglary suspect in the Garden District neighborhood on June 8. Police say neighbors noticed a suspicious man walking in someone's backyard and called police. 
"When officers arrived on the scene, they located a male in the doorway of the residence drinking a beer," said Wine. "When officers made contact with him, he pretended he was the resident of the house." 
According to Tucson Police, these are examples of how alert neighbors reporting suspicious activity can help solve cases. 
"All of our neighbors were really surprised about the burglary but definitely planning to be on the lookout," said Kaleita. 
The Nextdoor app used in their Kaleita and Moeller's case is a platform that helps connect residents with their neighborhood by verifying addresses. More than 400 Tucson neighborhoods currently use the site. 
"It's been a good way for our neighbors to share happy things like 'I have extra grapefruits, does anybody want any' or stuff like this and I'm really impressed with how quickly it worked in our case to catch this burglar," said Kaleita. 
Even police use the app now to maintain a relationship with the neighborhoods. 
"We send out a message approximately once a month to these communities let them know what's occurring in their neighborhood, what we'd like them to look out for," said Wine. 
Tucson Police also advise that during the summer months, tell your neighbors if you plan to leave town so they can keep an eye on your house and collect your mail. 
Wine also says there are things you can do to make your home a "harder target" for criminals. He recommends trimming vegetation around property to limit the number of hiding places, exterior lighting at night and always locking doors and windows when you leave.