A concerted effort by the Paradise Valley Police Department to nab the notorious rock burglars has helped reduce the town’s burglary rate in 2004, police said.
There were 271 burglaries last year, 48 fewer than in 2003, according to police statistics.
Statistics also showed an increase in assaults and one homicide in 2004, the first in Paradise Valley since January 1995.
The rock burglars didn’t strike in Paradise Valley during 2004 but hit residences in Scottsdale and Carefree.
"Some of it would have to do with how proactive we’ve been," said Paradise Valley Lt. Alan Laitsch, spokesman for the multi-agency Rock Burglary Task Force.
Police conducted 24 operations last year in the town of nearly 14,000, patrolling in marked and unmarked cars, Laitsch said.
"Some were covert operations to get the rock burglar, but he never showed up," he said.
Evidence has shown that more than one person is committing rock burglaries, Laitsch said.
The major increase was in assaults: 51 in 2004 compared with 33 in 2003, he said.
Laitsch attributed that to more domestic violence cases.
Mot or vehicle thefts remained about the same, 33 in 2004 and 30 in 2003. "There were more cars being taken when people left their keys in the car and the garage door open," he said.
In 2004, Paradise Valley also had its first homicide in several years. Genaro Quintero, 32, was bound and shot once in the head in April.
Antonio Rocha-Herrera and Gustavo Cevala Delgado were arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. They confessed to shooting Quintero, an undocumented immigrant, police said.
Two joggers found Quintero’s body just north of Camelback Road and 40th Street near the Phoenix border.
There were minor changes in other categories. Thefts fell to 161 from 177 in 2003.
Four sexual assaults were reported compared with one last year, Laitsch said. Four robberies occurred in 2004, only two in 2003, he said. There was one arson in 2004 and four in 2003, Laitsch said.
There were 230 vehicle collisions in 2004, seven more than the year before. There were no traffic fatalities last year.