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Series of break-ins puts Laveen community on alert

Posted at 4:19 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 19:49:29-04

LAVEEN, AZ — Several teens have been detained and one adult has been arrested after they were allegedly caught on camera breaking into a home in Laveen earlier this week.

Police believe a group of five males between 16 and 19 years of age are responsible for three break-ins on August 12.

Authorities say the home invasions happened Monday morning near 51st Avenue and Maldonado Road, between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Elvia Flores says her mother-in-law was one of the victims.

"They kicked the door open. There are men in the house and I'm hiding from them. I can hear them and I'm hiding," said Flores' mother-in-law.

In shock, Elvia says her mother-in-law hid in the closet while the group ransacked the house for jewelry.

"When he looked in this bedroom where she was, he opened the door and he probably opened it just a small amount from her description and he stuck his hand in there with the gun in it and told her to get on the floor," said Flores.

"I tried to encourage her while I had her on the phone for those few seconds, just telling her trust God," said Flores.

Thankfully, the group didn't stay long - fleeing the scene before police arrived.

Just two miles away and within two hours of this incident, the five young men are captured on surveillance video breaking into another home.

The cameras capture one of the suspects holding a handgun and the others kicking in the door and stealing electronics.

"My husband showed her those and she thought that the man with the gun resembled one of them," said Flores.

Elvia is just thankful her mother in law wasn't hurt. "I believe by God's grace they didn't shoot my mother-in-law, but what is there to say that they won't in the next house," said Flores.

Police say 19-year-old Matthew Santos was located and arrested for burglary. Four other teen males have been detained. It's unclear if they will face any charges.