A couple of alert off-duty Goodyear police officers at a west Valley gym were able to stop a burglary suspect from committing more crimes — and now they're sharing the story firsthand.
Court records show that on Sept. 26, a pair of off-duty officers were going to the Lifetime Fitness near 145th Avenue and McDowell Road when they saw a car that had been used in multiple vehicle burglaries a few days prior.
Police were shown picture of a bright blue Dodge Avenger with a spoiler. The car was possibly linked to multiple car thefts in Goodyear along McDowell Road.
Two of the burglaries occurred in the parking lot of Lifetime Fitness When officers Chris Pacello and Chris Hertenstein went to workout after getting off work, Pacello decided to take a lap around the parking lot just in case.
Sure enough, he spots the car driven by 42-year-old Terry Shoen Lewter, parked in a corner of the lot before eventually re-parking next to another car.
"Hey, I think he's gonna burglarize that vehicle." Pacello said as he gets on the phone with dispatchers.
The two watched from inside the gym and allegedly spotted Lewter breaking the car window.
Marked police cars from Goodyear had arrived and were able to prevent Lewter from leaving the lot.
They arrested him at gunpoint.
The officers said it's part of the job and that doesn't stop when they're off the clock.
"We're police officers and like to catch bad guys but we have a pretty strong connection to this community, both of us do." Hertenstein said.
The police report said a woman had put her purse in the trunk of her car that Lewter was targeting.
Police said Lewter matches the description of other car burglaries in the area, and a window punch was found inside his vehicle.
Lewter, who was released from prison eight months ago, is now facing burglary charges.