Burglary suspect nabbed last week
UPDATE: OCT. 27, 2015
Quincy police last week nabbed a man who they believe is a suspect in at least three of a string of burglaries that have plagued the commercial district this month.
Kennedy Morales, 25, of Quincy was arrested on second-degree burglary as well as three counts of third-degree theft and second- and third-degree malicious mischief.
Morales was booked into the county jail; he was still there on Wednesday. Morales was scheduled to appear in Grant County Superior Court on Tuesday.
In a span of about two weeks, nine burglaries were reported by local businesses that showed various similarities. A thief gained entry into several of the businesses by breaking a window. The thief, or thieves, made off with a small amount of cash and merchandise but left some businesses with thousands of dollars in damages.
On Oct. 22, Morales was arrested while riding a small mini-bike at 1st Avenue and A Street Southeast. Police had been watching Morales for a couple of weeks and had warned him that he would be arrested if seen again riding the illegal mini-bike around town, said Police Chief Bob Heimbach.
When questioning him at the police station, Morales allegedly admitted to breaking into Quincy Hardware & Lumber and 2 Doors Down, Heimbach said. When police served a warrant on his residence, they found stolen items from the two burglaries as well as items that are suspected to have been taken from a burglary at ACE Hardware earlier this month, Heimbach said.
When at Morales’ residence, police also arrested Francisco Javier Nunez, 26. Nunez was arrested and booked on five Grant County warrants.
Earlier this week, Quincy police also arrested Joshua David Avalos, 24, of Quincy. Avalos was arrested on a Grant County warrant. He also is a suspect in a burglary earlier this month at China Tang Buffet.
Heimbach said that with the various theft-related arrests made last week, he expects to see a drop in the rash of crimes that hit the city this month.
“With the arrest of Mr. Morales, we believe we have impacted the crime here in the city,” he said.
In an unrelated case, Quincy police made a fourth arrest on Oct. 22 when investigating a possible residential burglary. When police responded, they found Omar Gamboa, 33, of Quincy, who was arrested at Central Avenue and B Street Southeast on a Grant County warrant.
FROM OCT. 22:
Four more businesses in Quincy have been hit by burglars in the past five days, the Quincy Police Department reports.
In the last two weeks, there have been nine burglaries reported by local businesses that show various similarities, Police Chief Bob Heimbach said on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, burglaries were reported at Coleman Oil, Quincy Market and Tacos Jalisco. A fourth was reported early Tuesday morning at Shopko Hometown.
An alarm system at Shopko shows someone broke into the retailer at close to 3 a.m. and was in the store for only four minutes, Heimbach said. The culprit entered through a side window in the front of the store and exited out the back of the building, he said.
On Wednesday, Heimbach had not yet gotten a report from Shopko of the money or merchandise that may have been taken. Shopko officials also had not yet turned over a video to police.
It appears the thief, or thieves, is entering the buildings by throwing a rock or brick through a window, Heimbach said. In the case of a burglary reported at CHS, the culprit attempted to break a window but then cut a lock to enter the building, he said.
The thief then typically makes off with a small amount of cash as well as some small merchandise.
“Small, carriable items are what they are after,” the chief said. “Things they can put in their pockets and run away with.”
Police are unsure if the thief is acting alone. Video from Quincy Hardware & Lumber, which was burglarized last week, shows a single short, slight-built male in the building.
Overall, commerical and residential thefts are down this month compared to last month, Heimbach said.
However, this latest string has many business owners taking notice. Officers are talking to businesses about how they can better protect their businesses with some crime prevention tactics. The department also is beefing up patrols during late night hours, Heimbach said.
Heimbach said the police department will capture the culprit or culprits causing the damage to the local businesses. However, an arrest likely will take the help of the community; this person is going to slip up and a community member is going to see it, he said.
“It’s going to be through the eyes and ears of the community,” Heimbach said.
He advises the public to be on the lookout for any suspicious behavior.
“Everything that doesn’t look right, call us,” he said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org