MCSO nabs elusive 'Pink Panther' burglar

Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-23 10:52:48-05

A man being dubbed the "Pink Panther" burglar is finally behind bars.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says in six months, 24-year-old Dalton Philbrick stole up to a quarter of a million dollars in cash and jewelry from about 40 homes in the Sun City and Sun City West area.

“That’s why I like that this guy got caught,” said Arpaio. “He thought it was really clever to go after the elderly people.”

Philbrick was hard to capture because deputies say he wore latex gloves, only stole goods without serial numbers and never went to pawn shops. They say he would scope the places out and only hit on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

Philbrick's arrest was a relief for some neighbors who live in the area.

“It's an area that I worry about,” said Steve Klemme. “I'm happy that it happened, because obviously he delved in the area for quite a while. And it's hard to capture these guys.”

Deputies say his fingerprints were finally matched and he was tracked down.

The Sheriff’s office said it could have been much worse, if someone was home at the time of the burglaries.

“We didn't have any danger or violence,” said Arpaio. “It could have been very serious if someone was in there.”

The Sheriff says he wants no confusion about the name.

“The pink panther is not connected with the pink underwear,” said Arpaio. “Let’s get that straight.”

Unfortunately for the victims, the Sheriff's Office says they have not recovered any jewelry just yet, but they are still investigating.