An alert utility worker helped law enforcement solve a crime in just a matter of hours on Wednesday.
On Aug. 2, the worker spotted property stolen earlier that morning from Johnson Utilities on a vehicle parked at O'Reilly's Auto Parts on the corner of Bella Vista Road and Hunt Highway.
A 16-year-old boy and Christopher Clark, 20, of San Tan Valley, were detained. The juvenile confessed to the burglary and said that Clark and Dylan Spring, 19, of San Tan Valley, were also involved, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said. Spring had left before deputies arrived, witnesses said. A short time later, deputies were able to track him down at a nearby home.
Deputies got word of the burglary at 7 a.m. The suspects had cut through the chain link fence along the canal and gained access to the company's parking lot storage area.
The hood and truck bed cover of a Chevrolet Colorado were missing. The suspects had broken out the headlight of the truck as they were attempting to reach the hood latch. Also missing from the vehicle was a socket set.
Deputies said they tracked the suspects' footprints through the cut fence, out to a canal bank, then along a cotton field before they disappeared into the "Greens Community" residential subdivision.
Deputies searched the subdivision but were unable to locate the suspects or stolen property until they got a call from the utility worker who told them he spotted the stolen goods at 1:48 p.m.
Property crimes detectives responded to the scene and took over the investigation.
The juvenile was released to his mother. He could faces charges of burglary, criminal damage and possession of stolen property.
Clark and Spring were booked into the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Adult Detention Center for the same charges.
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