Valley man ID's accused thief using cameras, GPS

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 00:56:52-05

After getting robbed several times, a Valley man decided he was going to use whatever means possible to protect his livelihood.

“You get tired of being the guy that gets hit all the time,” said William Gilbert.

Gilbert owns a landscaping company and stores most of his tools at a storage facility near Northern Avenue and El Mirage Road. A secured gate with a code might be enough to keep most out, but when the suspect is also a customer, it makes it easy for him to get in and out.

So Gilbert decided to conduct his own surveillance and set up cameras around his unit.

“We have picture and video of the same person snooping around,” said Gilbert.

But the pictures and video weren’t enough to confirm the suspect, Johnny Ray Rogers, repeatedly stole equipment out of Gilbert’s storage unit.

“We try to make a living like everyone else. Then you got people like Johnny Rogers who try to rip people off,” said Gilbert.

So Gilbert decided to prove Rogers was the culprit and put a tracking device inside one of his landscaping tools.

“He was consistent, he was the same. He was going to take everything and put it into his truck,” said Gilbert.

And that’s exactly what happened. Police say when the equipment was taken, the GPS pinged all the way to Rogers' home. 

ABC15 tried to talk to Rogers, but he wasn’t home. His fiancé answered the door.

“We buy tools and sell them. But he didn’t steal anything,” said Roger’s fiancé.

She called Rogers hoping to get him to tell his side of the story.

“There is a picture of you. Do you want to say you didn’t do any of this on camera? You should do it. Defend yourself,” said Roger’s fiancé.

She said Rogers would never steal. Adding, the pictures of Rogers looking around the victim’s storage space doesn't prove anything.

Court paperwork reveals Rogers has a criminal history. He’s been convicted of shoplifting, burglary and assault.