Property crimes detectives hope the arrest of a suspect in the “Kung Fu Kicker” case will lead to a decline in residential burglaries on Mesa’s west side.
Charles Taylor, who police believe is responsible for as many as 34 residential burglaries in west Mesa, was arrested on May 19. Police said his arrest was the result of getting the word about suspicious activity through lines of communication between apartment managers and property crimes detectives.
Residential burglaries have increased 11 percent from last year, the only serious crime category that has seen an increase. In a 28-day period ending June 21, there were 38 residential burglaries — 12 more than the same period of time last year, according to police.
Between March 2 and June 21, west Mesa experienced 144 residential burglaries, and police have netted 20 burglary arrests in that time including Taylor, said Sgt. Aaron Spicer, who oversees the police department’s Dobson district station covering most of the west side.
Taylor, 55, was arrested moments after police apprehended him at the Broadway Gardens apartments at 945 W. Broadway Road. Moments before Taylor’s arrest, his description matched the one a resident gave officers of someone he saw stepping inside his apartment through an open sliding patio door, Spicer said.
The resident had heard someone trying to kick his door in, but after the suspect was unsuccessful, police said he climbed over a patio wall and tried to step inside the house through the patio door. However, the would-be burglar encountered the resident and fled, Spicer said.
The name “Kung Fu Kicker” comes from the mode of operation the suspect used to break into residences by kicking in the door and through evidence found in his possession linking him to eight burglaries, Spicer said.
Taylor had a large amount of jewelry in his possession, a large-screen television and other televisions, Spicer said.
Spicer also said that a large number of homes that have been foreclosed on are getting broken into.
“Burglars are taking washing machines, appliances and copper piping, anything of value,” Spicer said.