Residential Burglar Arrested After Confrontation With
January 15, 2008
most occasions we hear of residential burglary victims coming
home to find that they have been victimized. Houses are
ransacked with valuables missing and victims are left with a
feeling of insecurity in a place where they should feel the most
secure. Burglary offenders often wait for that window of
opportunity when a homeowner is at work, on vacation, or out for
On January 15, 2008 at 8:28 am, the Mesa Police Department
arrested 30-year-old Thomas Gonzales Garza of Chandler on
several felony charges including Residential Burglary,
Aggravated Assault on a Minor, Criminal Trespassing and Criminal
Damage in the 1000 block of East 7th Place in Mesa. Garza is
suspected of illegally entering and burglarizing a west Mesa
home. During the commission of the crime, a 14-year-old male
victim was alone inside of the residence. He heard a noise in
the kitchen and decided to investigate. He exited his room and
walked to the kitchen. As he entered the kitchen he saw a male
subject, later identified as Thomas Garza, trying to force open
the back arcadia door. The victim immediately ran back to his
room, locked the door and called 911. Uniformed patrol officers
were immediately dispatched to the residence. The victim
remained on the phone with the 911 operator while Garza
allegedly burglarized the residence. At one point, Garza forced
entry into the victimâ€™s bedroom. The victim confronted Garza
with a baseball bat, striking him several times. Garza allegedly
threatened the victim with a sharp object and then fled the
victimâ€™s room. At this point the victim forced his bedroom
window open and made his way to patrol officers who had just
arrived on scene.
Responding officers arrived to find Garza exiting the victimâ€™s
residence. Garza failed to comply with verbal commands to stop
and a brief foot chase ensued. Garza was quickly apprehended in
the backyard of a neighboring residence. During the foot chase,
Garza dropped items of evidence belonging to the victimâ€™s
family. During a post-Miranda interview Garza admitted to the
burglary and the confrontation with the 14-year-old victim.
Garza has been named as a person of interest in other
residential burglaries that have recently occurred in Mesa.
Those investigations are ongoing and will be disclosed to the
public as time permits.
Garza was booked on the listed charges and is being held on a no
bond status at the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix.
Thankfully, the 14-year-old victim in this case was unharmed.
The 14-year-old victim is commended for remaining calm,
contacting the police and protecting himself from possible harm.
His actions are a prime example of when and how to use 911. The
information he provided to the 911 operator allowed officers to
recognize and quickly apprehend the suspect in this case.
Responding officers are commended for their quick response and
capture of the suspect.