Sheriff warns of rash of burglaries in Cottonwood

COTTONWOOD --Yavapai Sheriff's deputies are investigating a home burglary Tuesday in the 4800 block of Comanche Drive in Cottonwood. The man had gone for a brief bicycle ride and found the front door pried open when he returned.

The master bedroom had been ransacked. Jewelry and a .45-caliber handgun was missing.

One clue is the motorcycle tire tracks in the man's yard. He recalled seeing a motocross-style bike accelerate out of the cul-de-sac near his house while on the bike ride. He had not associated the motorcycle with any criminal activity at the time. An area witness remembered the motorcycle was black and gray, possibly a 2-stroke model, possibly with a 250cc engine. The rider was a white male, about 5-8, with short hair,

There have been at least two more Cottonwood-area home burglaries at the same time, but it is not known if the motorcycle rider is involved. The two burglaries occurred Sunday on Franquero Lane, and, Monday, on Vaquero Lane. In both cases, the front door was forced open during daylight hours. Items taken include a computer, watches, jewelry and a black IPOD touch.

The Sheriff's office advises that three vehicle burglaries occurred in the same general area Sunday on Bay Circle, Village Drive, and Mountain View Drive. The Sheriff's Office says the thefts likely occurred in the evening or early morning hours. All the vehicles had been left unlocked. Stolen items included baseballs, bats and gloves, a Sprint cell phone and purse containing a Social Security card, driver's license, debit card and checkbook.

With the rash of thefts, the SO warns residents to be alert and advise neighbors of the possible suspect and motorcycle. Suspects often knock on a door see if anyone is home. If not they will force open the door. Once inside, suspects take items that can be carried quickly.

Gun stolen during hospital stay

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood Police reported that sometime between Tuesday and Friday last week, someone entered an apartment at the 800 block of  North 6th Street while the resident was not home. The 74-year-old man had a stroke at the time and was in the hospital.

Someone entered the unit, stole $40 worth of mixed change and a Remington Wingmaster shotgun, valued at $200.

The victim said the burglar entered through an open window in one of the bedrooms and took the shotgun and jar of change and did not spend much time inside the residence.

There were two other guns nearby. One gun was next to where the shotgun was kept, but covered by a reading magazine.

He was unable to provide a serial number for the shotgun since it was purchased a week earlier at the Camp Verde Flea Market.

Sedona Fire gets 39 calls over weekend

SEDONA - Sedona fire crews received 39 calls for service between Friday and Sunday. On Friday, just after 2 p.m., crews were dispatched to an injured hiker on the Templeton Trail near Cathedral Rock. The 43-year-old man was carried out with a Stokes basket and the Big Wheel and taken to Sedona Medical Center.

Saturday, March 26, at 8:10 a.m., emergency crews responded to a freezer fire at the Sedona Safeway Store in West Sedona.

The fire was caused by ice on electrical components in the freezer but damage was minimal.

Just after noon on Saturday, SFD crews were dispatched to a second injured hiker call. A 50-year-old man suffered an ankle injury during a fall on the Bell Rock Pathway Trail in VOC. Again, the Stokes basket and the Big Wheel was used to transport the victim to an ambulance.

A kitchen fire in the apartment complex on East Cortez Dive in the Village of Oak Creek brought out Sedona crews Saturday night. The fire was extinguished by a complex tenant who noticed smoke coming from the apartment. The unit occupant, who was home at the time, was unaware of the fire. A combustible dish drainer was left too close to a stove burner fire loss is estimated at $2,000.

Bar fight extends into cab ride

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood police arrested 26-year-old Derrick Lloyd Gaines and charged him with assault and disorderly conduct late Tuesday night after Players Bar tried to deal with two arguing and intoxicated patrons. Police were called to urge the two men to take a cab home.

The cab driven later waved over the trailing police car when the two men began fighting in the back of the cab.

The officer could see Gaines striking the victim with his hands and feet and pulled him out of the vehicle.

The cab driver said Gaines first attempted to get out of the cab, but after he calmed him, he began punching the other man.

Two officers were needed since Gaines is nearly 300 pounds and six feet tall.

-- Jon Hutchinson

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