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Crime Trackers: Property crimes up in AZ, but down in Marana - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Property crimes up in AZ, but down in Marana

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TUCSON - Arizona is among the top ten states in the nation for property crimes. Those crime numbers are actually going down in the city of Marana and there’s a good reason.

Miranda Edwards pointed to the back seat of her car and said her backpack was on the floor when it was stolen.

The car was parked in the driveway on May 19 when someone stole the backpack. The neighborhood is near Coachline Boulevard and Silverbell road. In this area, car break-ins have been a problem said Alexandra Edwards. 

“We have a website where the neighbors can talk to each other and people have been complaining about having their cars broken into,” said Alexandra Edwards.

On May 20, a good Samaritan found the backpack in a wash not far from the victim's house and called police. Miranda admitted she had no idea her car had been broken into until Marana Police Officer Alec Alvarez showed up at her door with the backpack in hand.

The thief left her driver’s license, but had taken her credit card, loose change, her favorite sparkly high heels and a leather jacket.

Oddly enough, Edwards said they had also taken some prom pictures.

“I just felt really insulted," said Edwards. "You don't break into someone's car and take that. “

She checked with the bank and her card was used at a Quick Mart about a mile from her house.

Surveillance video showed a man, later identified as 22-year old Zachary Repasch, using the card to buy two packs of cigarettes, worth $13.17. 

In the surveillance video, he’s seen dumping change on the counter. Then, he comes back later and purchased more cigarettes using a different credit card.

“Even though  it might seem like a low level crime or a low priority crime, that's something we are still going to follow up with as far as we can,” said Sgt. Chris Warren.

Sgt. Warren said, Officer Alvarez developed information that Repasch would hang out at the Skate park, which is located down the road from the Quick Mart.  The officer showed up and spotted Repasch.

“He goes up, talks to him identifies him  [and he] finds out he has a warrant for his arrest for an unrelated crime," said Sgt. Warren. "He's then placed under arrest for that warrant”

Repasch was questioned about the stolen credit card.  He was charged with burglary of a vehicle, theft of a credit card and possession of drug paraphernalia.

When it came time to go before the judge, Repasch was a no-show. An arrest warrant was issued, causing an investigating by the “Direct Action Response Team” known as DART.

The DART team is responsible for tracking down people who skip out on their court date.

“DART, works in our community to help reduce crime or reduce property crime or any type of problem areas we might see,” said Sgt. Warren

The DART team tracked down Repasch on July 30. Sgt. Warren said they found the suspect hiding under the bed.

Since his arrest, neighbors say car break-ins have stopped.  

“It is kind of a coincidence that it suddenly decreased," Alexandra Edwards said. "I haven't heard of any since then.”

Proof the combination of good police work and the DART team in-action are making the Marana community a safe place to live. The victim admits she left her car unlocked and wants others to please remember to lock their vehicles.

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