Man accused of Valley-wide theft spree | Crime Files

A man has been arrested, according to court documents, for his alleged role in month-long theft spree that investigators say totaled over $2,000.

Here are the details.

Who's the suspect?

The suspect was identified as 38-year-old Lazaro Cordoves Escobar.

Court documents we obtained listed a number of prior arrests and convictions for Escobar, but those entries were redacted. The same documents also state that Escobar "has no permanent ties to Arizona or the USA."

We have reached out to officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more information.

What allegedly happened?

Investigators listed five incidents of theft that they believe Escobar was involved in. All incidents happened in 2024.

May 1

Per court documents, Escobar walked into a Target store in the area of Tatum Boulevard and Deer Valley Drive in north Phoenix, where he allegedly took a cookware set and a box of nutrition drink powder, and then walked out of the store.

The goods allegedly taken are valued at $259.98.

May 12

On this day, investigators said Escobar walked into a Target store in the area of 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

"Once inside the store, he selected the Lego Viking Village Set valued at $129.99, and two of the Lego Avatar Metkayina Reef Home Sets valued at $79.99 (total value of $159.98) off the display and placed them into his cart," read a part of the court documents. "He then made his way to the infant's section of the store, where he selected a towel valued at $28.00 from the area and placed it on top of the Lego sets in the cart."

Investigators also said Escobar removed a security device from one of the Lego sets during the incident. The goods allegedly taken in this incident are valued at $289.97.

May 23

Per police, Escobar went to a Target store at Yuma Road and Cotton Lane in Goodyear, where he allegedly took multiple Lego sets off the display, and then left the store.

Investigators put the total amount of items allegedly stolen at $174.98.

May 27

Investigators say Escobar visited a Target store located near Chandler Fashion Center in Chandler, where he went to the women's department and took two bodysuits worth a total of $24, eight Lego sets worth a total of $804.92, a $10 shirt from the boy's department, and 10 food and beverage items including beer, salsa, yogurt and pizza totaling $69.50.

"After placing all the food items into the cart, he walks around to a couple of different departments, but then pushes the car out the exit without making an attempt to pay for the items in the cart," read a portion of the court documents.

Per court documents, the total value of items allegedly stolen is $908.42.

June 1

Escobar, investigators allege, returned to the Chandler Target store on this day, where he is accused of taking three boy's shirts valued at $8 each, and eight Lego sets worth $614.92.

"After placing the sets in his shopping cart, [Escobar] made his way to the men's department, where he selected two shirts valued at $17.00 and $12.00, which he placed into the cart," read a portion of the court documents. "From there, he went to the grocery side of the store and selected onions, which he placed into the cart. After selecting the onions, he tried to exit the store without making an attempt to pay for the merchandise. As he was exiting the store through the first set of exit doors, he was contacted by loss prevention, which caused [Escobar] to discard the cart full of items and run off."

Investigators say the items Escobar tried to take from the store are valued at $671.61.

"During a one-month span, [Escobar] went to four different target stores in Chandler, Phoenix, and Goodyear. While in those stores, he stole or attempted to steal $2304.96 worth of merchandise," court documents read.

July 2

Escobar, investigators say, was arrested on this day in an area south of Indian School Road and the I-17.

"During a post-Miranda interview, [Escobar] admitted to stealing the food, clothing items and cookware set for himself. He admitted to stealing and selling the Lego sets on Facebook for $25-$40 per set," read a portion of the court documents.

What is the suspect accused of?


(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joseph Barron)

Per court documents, Escobar is accused of a count of shoplifting (A.R.S. 13-1805A1), five counts of organized retail theft (A.R.S. 13-1819A1), a count of theft detection device removal (A.R.S. 13-1816D), and a count of trafficking stolen property in the first degree (A.R.S. 13-2307B). All alleged offenses are felonies.