Thousands of dollars worth of snowblowers and other property were recovered following the arrests of a man and a woman who Davenport police say were responsible for 60 garage and shed burglaries going back to July.
Richard Alan Gardner, 54, of 1413 W. 10th St., Davenport, was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of third-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a felony. He is in custody at the Scott County Jail.
Rosemarie Krejci, 49, of 1860 W. 8th St., Davenport, also was arrested Tuesday. She is charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit a felony. She was released from jail Wednesday.
Police said two other groups of individuals believed to have committed numerous residential and commercial burglaries in Davenport in the past two months also have been arrested.
That three separate groups were committing burglaries at the same time makes this crime wave unusual, Davenport Police Capt. David Struckman said Thursday.
“No one has a clean record,” he said of the dozen who were arrested, including several juveniles. He said many of them already were known to police.
“No section of the city was immune to this type of activity.”
Yard equipment stolen
According to police, Krejci was stopped Tuesday in the 3800 block of Sturdevant Street and officers found her in possession of a stolen snowblower. Gardner was not with her at the time and was arrested later in the day at his residence.
Police recovered snowblowers, lawn mowers, lawn trimmers, leaf blowers, air compressors, hand tools and bicycles with a combined value of around $10,000, Struckman said.
Stolen property was collected from pawn shops and from people who bought the items from Gardner, he said.
The recovered property is stored in a room at the Davenport Police Department garage. Once it has been catalogued by police, items may be returned to their owners unless they are needed in pending court cases.
Third-degree burglary is a Class D felony under Iowa law, carrying a prison sentence of up to five years.
Business, car burglaries
Breontae Keyshawn Gathright, 18, of 3833 Wilkes Ave.; Antwan Louis Privett, 19, of 804 W. 7th St., Apt. E1; and Timothy Williams, 16, address not listed, each are charged with three counts of third-degree burglary and one count of second-degree theft in connection with a string of business and car burglaries early Wednesday.
Detectives observed the three enter a broken glass front door at Automotive Central, 2607 Hickory Grove Road. The door was broken when Gathright allegedly drove a vehicle in reverse into the glass, according to the arrest affidavits.
An undetermined amount of cash and merchandise was taken from the building, as well as several keys to vehicles in the parking lot.
Police also accuse the three in break-ins at a strip mall at 1414 W. Locust St.
The men were driving a stolen Chevrolet Malibu, police said. Detectives followed the car until it struck a utility pole at Linwood and Redwood avenues. The three men ran from the vehicle and were pursued by officers.
Gathright and Privett were arrested at that time. Williams was arrested later.
Privett told police that Williams and Gathright were responsible for four additional burglaries elsewhere in Davenport, although he denied his own involvement, police said.
Privett also provided information about the location of three additional stolen cars. One of those cars was recovered near 6th and Sturdevant streets, police said.
In a search of Gathright’s residence, a .22 caliber rifle, shotgun ammunition and shotgun parts were recovered, police said.
Agustin Lopez Jr., 18, of 2501 Boise Ave., Davenport, and five juveniles were arrested for 16 residential burglaries in Davenport between Oct. 14 and Nov. 9, police said.
He is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree burglary, four counts of conspiracy and four counts of using a juvenile to commit a crime.
Three Davenport juveniles are charged with second-degree burglary. They are George Lopez, 16, of 2501 Boise Ave.; Raul Ponce, 17, of 928 Brown St.; and Juan Chavez-Afaro, 16, of 3544 Heatherton Drive.
In addition, Miguel A. Espinoza, 17, of 1214 W. 6th St., Davenport, is charged with four counts of third-degree burglary and Diego Marquez, 15, of 3342 Heatherton Drive, Davenport, is charged with one count of third-degree burglary.
Homes in the 500 block of West Garfield Street, 1400 block of West High Street, 3200 block of Valley Vista Road and 2400 block of Grand Avenue were burglarized, according to Agustin Lopez’s arrest affidavit.
Jewelry, electronics, coins, cameras and other items were stolen, police said.
Police executed a search warrant and recovered televisions, rare coins, game systems and games, watches, car stereos, cellular phones, digital cameras and a hand gun, police said.
The juveniles have been released from police custody, Struckman said.
Agustin Lopez is in custody at Scott County Jail.
Struckman said investigations into the three burglary sprees continue and police anticipate more arrests “as we dig deeper into this.”
He commended the “good police work” that brought about the arrests. “Officers were out working their rears off. This was a team effort,” he said.
Chief Frank Donchez encouraged public input. “Some of these can be prevented with a little work on the victims’ part,” he said.
As the holiday season approaches, Donchez suggested putting packages in the trunk of one’s car rather than leaving them visible in the vehicle.
“Don’t let yourself be a victim,” he said. “Lock your car door. Lock your garage doors. These criminals are opportunists.”