Jason Wortman (Source: Glendale Police Department)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
A 17-year-old Glendale Police Explorer is credited with helping officers catch two suspected burglars.
A couple emerging from a church service on Nov. 3 discovered someone had burglarized their vehicle in the parking lot in the area of 17200 N. 59th Ave., according to Sgt. Jay O'Neill.
The pair told police a garage door opener and registration paperwork that included their home address were missing.
The couple's daughter, who is a Glendale Police Explorer, was at home alone when the suspects, Gerardo Ramirez and Jason Wortman, went to their home, O'Neill said.
The suspects backed their vehicle into the driveway and activated the stolen garage door to gain access. Ramirez then began to knock on the door and ring the doorbell to see if anyone was home, O'Neill said.
Ramirez and Wortman fled the scene when they heard the sound of a television inside the home, O'Neill said. The Glendale Police Explorer obtained the license plate number on the suspect's vehicle as it sped away.
On. Nov. 17, with the information the Police Explorer had provided, detectives initiated surveillance on the vehicle, which they observed driving around to different church parking lots in Sun City.
Just after 10 a.m., a detective saw Ramirez break into a vehicle which was parked at a church in the area of 9500 W. Hutton Dr., O'Neill said. With the assistance of MCSO deputies, a Glendale police K-9 officer stopped the vehicle and both men were taken into custody.
Wortman later admitted that he and Ramirez were on their way to burglarize the victim's home when they were arrested less than a block away from the victim's residence, O'Neill said.
Officers said Ramirez had the victim's garage door opener, along with what appeared to be a handgun. It was later determined to be a BB gun, O'Neill said. Police searched the vehicle and found evidence connecting both men to other church burglaries, O'Neill said.
Both men were booked in the jail on three counts of attempted residential burglary and two counts of vehicle burglary. Ramirez remains in custody on a no bond probation hold, and Wortman remains in custody on a $3,600 bond.
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