Tue, Aug. 20

Alleged auto burglar locked up, accused of shoplifting

Steven Allen Winters

Steven Allen Winters

COTTONWOOD -- Cottonwood Police arrested 22-year-old Steven Allen Winters of Cottonwood recently in connection to recent vehicle burglaries and shoplifting charges.

On Feb. 15, Cottonwood Police located Winters near the area of 10th Street and Mingus Avenue. He was originally sought for an unrelated shoplifting. Winters was taken into custody for felony shoplifting and searched during the arrest. In doing so, officers located a loaded 9 mm Kel-Tec handgun as well as other stolen property from recently reported vehicle burglaries in Cottonwood. In addition to the handgun, they seized GPS units, MP3 players, cell phones, lighters and approximately $26 in loose change. Winters was arrested and taken into custody and booked in at the Yavapai County Detention Center charged with misconduct involving weapons as a prohibited possessor, illegally carrying a concealed weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and theft.

Many of the vehicles that were burglarized were not locked or secured.

"We know that there are opportunists out there who take advantage of complacency and inattention," said Cottonwood Police Department spokesman Sergeant Gareth Braxton. "We want to stress that, the more the police and the public can do to reduce or eliminate these opportunities, the less chance we have of becoming victims. Please take time to secure your vehicles and keep valuable items hidden from view or removed."

It takes much more effort for a thief to commit these types of crimes by controlling where your vehicle is left and removing enticing and valuable items. By leaving your locked vehicle in a well-lit area and removing valuables, a potential suspect may not feel comfortable looking into or breaking into your vehicle.