PD: Mesa resident's photo leads to arrest of neighborhood burglar

Posted at 12:31 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 06:20:59-05

An alert Mesa resident was able to take a photo of a burglar police say is responsible for five burglaries at four homes, mostly in the same neighborhood.

Court records show that a resident took a photo of a person she believed to be a burglar and as the picture was shown around the area, people began to report missing items.

Police say that on November 21, a woman living in the area of Southern Avenue and Lindsey Road saw a man, later identified as 45-year-old Edward Dorsey Hobbs, coming out of her neighbor's carport carrying tools. 

She confronted Hobbs and took his picture as he started to ride away on a mountain bike. The picture showed Hobbs riding the bike, carrying a UPS package and wearing a custom made hat and a black backpack. She contacted the homeowner who noticed several DeWalt power tools were missing.

Police say that as the photo was shared throughout the neighborhood, others began to notice some of their items were also missing. One neighbor identified the hat Hobbs was wearing as the custom hat he had made for him and his father, another reported his mountain bike missing and another was expecting a UPS delivery.

"We're pretty tight knit," explained Chris Graham, who noticed the hat in the photos from his neighbors. "We all know each other."

"I just felt violated," Graham said. "To be 100% honest, just having somebody inside your domain just - it makes me mad."

"I'm glad he got caught," he said. "All because of my hat...that's the best part."

Police say surveillance video from one neighbor showed Hobbs riding up to his home on the mountain bike and taking a package from his front porch.

Police located and arrested Hobbs on November 29 in a home near Southern Avenue and Gilbert Road about a mile away from where the burglaries took place.

He's been charged with theft and several counts of burglary.