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Crime Trackers: Sheriff's Dept. quick work avoids 'big trouble' - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Crime Trackers: Sheriff's Dept. quick work avoids 'big trouble' for local firm

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Within hours of a call to the Pima County Sheriff's Department reporting that a Tucson business had been burglarized, investigators recovered the equipment and arrested two suspects.

The thieves broke into the JT Thorpe and Son warehouse where the warehouse manager says they stole expensive equipment, plus trucks and trailers filled with more equipment.

“One was backed in that slot right there, the other was backed into the other slot right here.  And they were loaded with equipment and tied down ready to go,” said Larry Duke.

 When employees showed up for work Nov. 22, the trucks, the trailers, and equipment were gone.

“We were in big trouble, because we had two jobs starting in Texas over the Thanksgiving weekend, and those trucks and trailers were loaded and ready to go,” Duke said.

911 was called. Law enforcement quickly arrived and began the investigation. The employees also jumped in and helped detectives.

“Through that investigative process we were able to locate later that day both of the trailers and one of the pickup trucks,” said Deputy Ryan Inglett.

Three search warrants were served throughout the city and county. 

The Sheriff's Department found one of the trailers loaded with equipment near Cardinal and Drexel. They arrested 36-year-old Jesse Thornhill on burglary charges, theft charges, and theft of mean of transportation or auto theft charges.

News 4 Tucson did a computer check and found Thornhill was served time in the Arizona Department of Corrections in 2014 for attempted auto theft. He was released in 2015.

Deputies also arrested Larry Knapp, 46, and charged him burglary, theft, and auto theft.

“They attempted to take a lot of money worth of merchandise and tools from this business, which is its lifeline to continue working,” Inglett said.

One of the pickup trucks and two trailers with most of the tools were recovered by the end of the day. And the jobs in Texas were completed.

“Our customers are happy, they know nothing, that we had a huge almost disaster,” Duke said.

 Detectives are continuing their investigation, and they say there's a possibility there will be additional arrests.

Duke has a message for the suspects:

“I would say get a job make an honest living that's what all my people do and we all do. It's a lot easier to survive honestly than it is dishonestly.”

A white F-250 truck is still missing. If you have information, call 88-Crime.

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