SNOWFLAKE-TAYLOR — The Snowflake/Taylor Police Department reports that between Jan. 11-13 there were a total of eight burglaries in Snowflake and Taylor in just three days.

There weren’t any burglaries reported prior to that in the first days of 2022.

Lt. Derick Ortiz said, “We do believe we know who is responsible for a majority of the burglaries. We arrested 26-year-old Cesar Estrada, who is now being prosecuted for multiple incidents. We can’t confirm that he’s done all of them, but he is under arrest for participating or being in possession of stolen property from several of them. The majority of these burglaries have been at night, although we do know that some have not.”

Ortiz explained that these burglaries weren’t confined to one specific area. They were more in the outskirts of Snowflake and Taylor. Most of the vehicle burglaries that were reported were from vehicles that were unlocked at the time.

“There was never any forced entry into them by breaking windows or anything like,” said Ortiz.

When asked if more street lighting would make a difference, Ortiz said, “The answer is yes, it would. We cover about 70 square miles between Snowflake and Taylor. But there’s a lot of streets that don’t have streetlights. I don’t know if the ones that were affected had a streetlight or not, but lighting obviously helps in almost all circumstances.”

How the police caught Estrada is being kept under wraps because they would be giving out information on how they do things.

Ortiz said, “We had already known that this person possibly was involved prior to arresting him due to surveillance and help with the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office MCAT task force and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office.”

How important is it to lock up your vehicle or home?

“We see that the majority of the burglaries and things like that, especially within cars, are from vehicles that are unlocked, unsecured. No matter where you’re going, whether you’re going to church on a Sunday, or you’re going to the grocery store, nobody is unaffected by this. If we lock our doors, we would prevent the majority of these burglaries. We see that the people that do lock up are far less affected by these crimes of opportunity,” he said.

In one of the situations, Ortiz explained that one of the homes was left unsecured, that’s how the person made entry.

“In our area, typically we don’t see people smashing or breaking windows. It’s usually quiet things. A burglar will just go through a window, or just open a front door because it’s not locked. They go in and take what they can and get out. It’s all done in a very short amount of time, which also makes it hard to prosecute because they don’t have to do a whole lot to get inside. Nobody saw them sneak in. Most people don’t even question if they see somebody just walk into a house, but if they see somebody breaking a door down, that’s different. We would get calls for those types of things,” the officer said.

A Neighborhood Watch Program is in effect in some of the Snowflake and Taylor neighborhoods. However, Ortiz said, “It’s totally dependent upon the neighborhood.”

The police department advises everyone to lock your doors, lock their doors, lock your doors. The police department’s phone number is 928-536-7500 and its email address is police@stpd.org.

As a side note, the Snowflake Taylor Police Department posted on their Facebook page a thank you to Nexus Coalition for Drug Prevention, for donating Narcan for its officers to use to save lives.

The post stated that the officers could not do it without assistance. Nexus Coalition for Drug Prevention (NCDP) offers a wide variety of services that revolve around substance abuse.

Merri Taylor is a freelance writer covering the Snowflake and Taylor areas. Email her at aznewsranch@hotmail.com.

(2) comments

Bob Smith

Excellent work STPD!!

VicktheChick3

Arizona is quietly being turned into California and the Californians are being blamed. Unfairly.

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