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8:33 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Deputy arrests suspects in Paulden burglaries after finding disabled car in Prescott

A Yavapai County Sheriff's deputy arrested two men Friday on charges including burglary after finding an overheated car on Highway 89 that matched the description of one seen at a burglary in Paulden, and one of the men allegedly told the deputy stolen items were in the car's trunk.

A deputy booked Thomas Clarkson, 31, of Phoenix and Shane Bunting 20, of Prescott Valley into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde on charges including burglary, trespass, possession of burglary tools and possession of drug paraphernalia. They remain in custody on a $2,000 bond each.

At 1:45 p.m., deputies answered a burglary call at a home in the 400 block of La Jolla Lane in Paulden and spoke to a person who had seen two men enter a neighbor's home. The man told deputies that one of the suspects ran to a white Pontiac sedan after noticing he was watching, and honked the horn to alert the other man who came running out of the victim's home, YCSO spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

As the suspects drove away, the man saw part of the license plate, and told deputies both suspects had come to his home earlier asking for water because their vehicle had overheated, D'Evelyn said. The man told deputies one of the suspects had several visible tattoos.

Around 2 p.m., a deputy found the white Pontiac sedan stopped along 89 just north of the Prescott Airport with its hood up.

As the deputy approached the car, he saw two men who matched the suspects' descriptions and saw one man quickly throw something in the trunk and close the lid, according to investigators. When the deputy checked Bunting for weapons, he found a pocket full of loose change on Bunting.

Both men initially told the officer they weren't involved in the burglary, but Bunting later told deputies he was involved and that more stolen items were in the Pontiac's trunk. Deputies determined that more than 20 pieces of jewelry, numerous loose coins, and a coin collection had been taken from the ransacked bedroom of the Paulden home, D'Evelyn said.

Deputies found all of the stolen items in the suspect's car along with several burglary tools, D'Evelyn added.

Bunting and Clarkson had entered the home through an unlocked front door. Deputies learned they had driven around the Chino Valley and Paulden looking for unoccupied homes.

If you were a property theft victim in the area during this time period, please contact YCSO immediately. No additional stolen property has been located.