Detectives hard work results in long prison term for burglars
Hard work of detectives of the Yavapai Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Section paid off with the arrest of four suspects reportedly responsible for numerous burglaries and thefts in Camp Verde, Rimrock and Cottonwood. The crimes occurred over a four-month period beginning late last year and continuing into early 2008.
An investigation resulted in arrests of Camp Verde residents James Dungan, 41; Maryaka Moore, 30; and two Phoenix residents, Daniel Smith, 35; and Jason Heifner, 29.
The primary suspects, Dungan and Moore, were sentenced last month. Dungan received an 11-year prison term and Moore sustaining a 7-year prison conviction. Both had served prior prison time for theft convictions. Earlier this year, Smith was sentenced to an 18-month term and Heifner was sentence to 3 ½ years for involvement in some burglaries. The total restitution-loss for all victims has been set at $118, 000 dollars.
An investigation began during follow-up of a burglary on Quail Hollow Road in Rimrock when officers discovered suspects at various stores in Phoenix and Camp Verde used stolen credit cards. They recovered surveillance video from some of the stores that showed suspects using the stolen credit cards. After a meeting with Cottonwood Police, investigators identified Moore as a potential suspect along with a suspect vehicle registered in her name. A cell phone had been recovered from the driveway of one of the burglary victims, which belonged to Dungan, who lived with Moore on Camp Verde's Finnie Flats Road. Detectives matched prior photos of Dungan and Moore to the suspects captured by security video footage using stolen credit cards. Their vehicle was also seen in video footage at a Wendy's restaurant where a stolen credit card was used to purchase food.
A surveillance operation was conducted on the Finnie Flats Road location and resulted in the identification of stolen property stored near the residence. In January, Dungan and Moore were arrested and a search warrant was issued for the residence. Stolen property was found in the vehicle and residence. Over several weeks, detectives linked the pair to at least 27 burglaries and two theft incidents. The arrests cleared numerous cases in the Sheriff's Office, Camp Verde Marshall's Office, Cottonwood Police Department and Prescott Valley Police Department.
The investigation also led to the involvement of Smith and Heifner who assisted Dungan and Moore in burglaries during visits to the area from Phoenix.
The suspects' MO in the burglaries was to find places with landscape and structural concealment. After a front door knock to confirm no one was home, the suspects used a large screwdriver to pry open a front or back door. The suspects would usually only steal items they could fit in a pillow case. They browsed neighborhoods looking for potential targets and usually picked homes that were not occupied. They did not bother homes with alarms.