TPD investigating months-long string of car break-ins near Tumamoc Hill

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

TPD investigating months-long string of car break-ins near Tumamoc Hill

CREATED Dec. 30, 2012

Reporter: Maggie Vespa

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Outdoor lovers are on high alert after a months-long spree of car break-ins near the base of Tumamoc Hill.

Now, police report possible progress, thanks to the arrests of 22 year-old Victoria Gilligan and 30 year-old Jacob Major.
 
Both are charged in an unrelated theft case, but tpd tells 9OYS, they believe these two are connected to at least one of the Tumamoc break-ins, and they are gathering evidence to prove it.
 
 
It's a place dozens come to every day in search of some exercise, some peace and quiet, but according to TPD, over the last several weeks that search for solitude has turned these trailblazers, Or at least their cars, into sitting ducks.
 
Police say the shards of glass and home-made signs are the remnants of a crime-spree that started in July.
 
That's when someone realized, a hiker on Tumamoc hill equates to a vehicle, and often valuables, left vulnerable.
 
"I noticed my window was broken," recalled 42 year-old Francisco Valencia.
 
He is one of more than a dozen victims.  Last month, he returned from an early morning walk to find his truck ransacked.
 
"My clothing, my backpack... I had a skillsaw in the back seat.  That was taken, also, and my wallet," he said.
 
Valencia reported the break-in online, but not before the thieves had a field day with his credit cards.
 
Total the ordeal cost him close to $2000.
 
"You can't really go anywhere and have that peace of mind, that when you get back your stuff is going to be there," he said.
 
While Valencia works to repair the damage, TPD is building a case against Victoria Gilligan and Jacob Major.
 
Arrested on unrelated charges in late October, police believe these two may be connected to at least one of the break ins.
 
But there is just one problem.  Two reports, including valencia's, came in after that arrest, meaning this Tumamoc crime spree may be the work of many. 
 
That's something that has hikers upping their standards for security.
 
"Now I always hide my stuff under my seats before I leave my car," said one.
 
 
"Not leaving valuable stuff in vehicles and coming in daylight hours and stuff like that, yes," said a second.
 
 
"Don't leave anything in sight," said Valencia.  "Your purse, wherever they can see it.  Put it in the trunk or take it with you."
 
TPD is still investigating these crimes.  If you have any information, you are asked to call them or dial 88-crime immediately.

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