Phoenix, AZ - From December 13th-15th, the U.S. Marshals Service in Arizona, along with partnering state, local and federal law enforcement agencies, conducted “Operation Grinch Stopper 2016.” The operation focused on fugitives wanted for outstanding arrest warrants for crimes to include robbery, burglary, theft, larceny and drugs and resulted in the arrest of 157 fugitives statewide.
Operation Grinch Stopper was created in response to the November 18, 2012 incident involving a Tucson Police Sergeant who was shot during a response to a burglary alarm. Fortunately, despite his injuries he survived the ordeal. This tragedy inspired the U.S. Marshals in Arizona to focus on apprehending individuals wanted for property crimes, which are known to increase during the holiday season.
“The Holiday and Christmas Season can be a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be very dangerous. There is a noticeable spike in crime during the holidays because people are more vulnerable to theft, burglary and robbery by criminals taking advantage of an opportunity to commit crime,” said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona. “The U.S. Marshals Service’s annual Operation Grinch Stopper is focused on targeting fugitives who seek to ruin the holiday spirit."
Since its creation in 2012, Operation Grinch Stopper has been very successful in identifying, locating and arresting subjects wanted for property crimes. This operation also focuses on fugitives who have a lengthy criminal history and are wanted for other violent offenses that could impact the community during the holiday season.
“We are excited to partner with the U.S. Marshals to help bring in these subjects who victimize our community,” said Chief Rick St. John of Glendale Police Department. “Operation Grinch Stopper has helped, and will continue to help the citizens in our community not be victimized during this holiday season.”
Now in its fifth year, Operation Grinch Stopper continues to be a success, netting 157 arrests in Arizona and clearing 178 warrants. During their investigation, officers also arrested 18 assault suspects, 6 sex offenders and 3 suspects wanted for Homicide.
Those apprehended during the enforcement operation included the following:
Adrianna Christian Figueroa, 28, of Douglas, Arizona was booked into the Pima County Jail after surrendering herself to authorities. An arrest warrant for Figueroa was issued for her alleged involvement in a home invasion. Figueroa also faces a charge of 1st degree burglary, nine counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, three counts of Armed Robbery and Kidnapping. With Deputies and Task Force Officers actively pursuing leads generated from information developed during Grinch Stopper, the surmounting pressure persuaded Figueroa to self-surrender without incident.
Jacob Arledge, 29, was arrested in the area of Knox Rd. and Arizona Ave. in Chandler. Arledge was wanted on a Probation Violation stemming from Theft charges. During the contact police found a loaded Ruger .22 caliber with a suppressor. After a search of the residence was conducted several items were seized to include a Ruger .22 caliber handgun with the suppressor, a Glock pistol, an AR-15, a Bullpup-style assault rifle, body armor, numerous rounds of ammunition, a stolen trailer, $20,000 in stolen tools, drug paraphernalia, stolen credit cards, and a small amount of drugs.
Luis Salgado-Reyes, 21, was arrested in the area of Gilbert Rd. and McKellips Rd. in Mesa. It is alleged that Salgado was part of a string of armed robberies that occurred throughout the Phoenix Metro Valley from December 1st through December 13th in Mesa, Phoenix, and Tolleson. During this crime spree a knife was used to threaten and intimidate victims. Information was developed linking the robberies to Salgado and he was apprehended without incident during Operation Grinch Stopper 2016.
“The cooperation amongst law enforcement agencies in the valley is astounding,” said Chief Jeri Williams of the Phoenix Police Department. “When every agency, whether city, county, state, or federal, is committed to working together to locate and arrest criminal offenders, we all enjoy safer communities.”
“I am very proud that the Mesa Police Department was able to participate in Operation Grinch Stopper 2016,” said Chief John Meza of the Mesa Police Department. “Every year thefts and burglaries around the holiday season have a detrimental effect on families in the community. We see the stories of homes and businesses broken into leaving families struggling to get through the season. With the collaborative efforts of multiple Law Enforcement agencies, we are able to make a notable impact on these criminals and make the valley a safer place.”
“Operation Grinch Stopper has once again proved to be a model public safety operation aimed at taking criminals who prey on law abiding citizens off the streets,” stated Chief John Lekan of the Yuma Police Department. “Simply put, Operation Grinch Stopper makes Yuma and other involved communities a safer place to enjoy the holiday season. The Yuma Police Department is proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Marshals Service during this operation.”
"Property crimes are an issue in every community and one that we are very sensitive to here in Tucson,” said Chief Chris Magnus of the Tucson Police Department. “These crimes have the potential to negatively impact our community members during a time when many are at their most vulnerable. As Chief, I am very appreciative of the additional enforcement support from our other law enforcement partners, particularly the efforts of the United States Marshals Service through Operation Grinch Stopper, in combating these types of crimes and helping to improve the quality of life for our community members."
The United States Marshals Service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.