Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a man suspected of burglarizing at least two homes and they are looking for others who may have been victimized by him.
Samuel J. Searles, 29, was arrested Thursday on two counts of burglary, Deputy Jesus Bañuelos, spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, said in a news release.
Searles is suspected in two burglaries on the northwest side.
On the morning of July 1, deputies were called to a home in the 6600 block of North Montebella Road between West Orange Grove and West Ina roads in reference to a burglary. One of the residents told deputies that while he was working in his yard a man approached him.
“When the victim asked the man if he needed help with something, the man asked for directions,” Bañuelos said. “The victim gave him directions and the man left on foot. A few minutes later, the victim’s wife came outside and asked him if he told a man that he could use their bathroom.
“The couple became concerned about the incident and looked around their home for anything suspicious. They later found that a bank card was taken out of a wallet located in their vehicle in the garage. The victim checked his bank account online and noticed fraudulent charges posted to his account,” Bañuelos said.
Days later, just before 9 a.m. July 5, deputies were called to a home in the 600 block of West Paseo Norteno Road between West Magee and West Hardy roads regarding another burglary. A man had seen a stranger running out of his neighbors house and into the nearby desert.
“He immediately contacted his neighbor to advise him of what he just witnessed. The victim stated that he was in the backyard watering his plants and never noticed anyone in his house. He immediately went through his house and noticed his wallet was taken and later received a call from his bank about possible fraudulent charges on his account,” Bañuelos said.
Burglary detectives “believed that both of the homes were targeted by the same suspect,” Bañuelos said. “After following up on several leads and working with the banks of the victims, they were able to identify a potential suspect.”
Detectives are trying to identify others victimized by the suspect. Anyone with information should call 911 or 88-CRIME.