For Immediate Release
|December 16, 2016||
Amelia Swenhaugen, Deputy U.S. Marshal
District of Arizona – Phoenix (602) 828-8349
|U.S. Marshals 'Operation Grinch Stopper 2016' Results in 157 Arrests State-Wide|
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
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:
“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.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency