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Police: Suspect in months-long string of medical facility burglaries arrested

Posted: 11:03 PM, Jun 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-28 02:03:22-04
KNXV Gary Duckworth.jpeg

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A months-long spree of stealing from Valley dentists, hospitals and medical facilities is over, according to police.

This week Scottsdale Police arrested Gary Duckworth, 67, for at least four burglaries in Scottsdale. Investigators say he is also being investigated for similar thefts in Phoenix and Glendale.

In many cases, the 67-year-old was caught on surveillance camera, but it took police weeks to finally catch the man because he did not have a permanent address and did not stick out as an obvious suspect to victims.

In fact, Duckworth would dress up in a tie or collared shirt for almost all of his crimes, police said. He also carried a leather briefcase, inside of which officers found two screwdrivers at the time of his arrest.

"His MO was the same every time. Walking into businesses, often times during business hours to scope them out," said Sgt. Brian Reynolds with Scottsdale police. "And then oftentimes coming in after hours and breaking in."

Duckworth first got the attention of the department in February, when he targeted Banner Thunderbird. He is accused of stealing $3,000 cash from the unlocked gift shop safe and took money from an employee's purse. Since then he has hit roughly ten businesses across the Valley, stealing laptops, iPads, digital cameras and stethoscopes.

"He was very calm and cool as he was in these businesses," said Sgt. Reynolds.

Phoenix police also recognized him from the Mayo Clinic. Glendale police have surveillance video from him at a local dentist office.

Police and patients are both wondering if any private information on the stolen electronics was compromised, but so far detectives have not found any.

"We have no information that that has happened thus far, but that is always a concern when electronics are taken from any place that deals with patient information," said Sgt. Reynolds.

The spree ended Tuesday when an employee at a north Scottsdale office complex noticed Duckworth casing the building. When confronted, Duckworth said he had an interview, but the employee still called police. Officers recognized the description provided by the employee and rushed to arrest Duckworth.

Duckworth is no stranger to a cell.

He spent more than 20 years in Arizona prisons for sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary, and other charges, according to online court records.

He is now looking at many more years, especially because Phoenix and Glendale police are still investigating him and he is charged with violating probation.

Some of the victims of Duckworth told ABC15 that their stolen items have not been returned yet despite the arrest.

Scottsdale police said the investigation is ongoing and did not say whether or not they recovered any stolen items or if Duckworth had already sold them.