Art

Artist Hopes for an Arrest in Break-Ins Along the Creative Strip of Grand Avenue

The La Melgosa building is one of several break-in locations.
The La Melgosa building is one of several break-in locations. Lynn Trimble
More than a dozen break-ins have happened along Grand Avenue recently, in a part of downtown Phoenix typically associated with the arts and historic preservation.

“There’s been a rash of stuff happening for several months,” says artist and Grand Avenue property owner Beatrice Moore.

So far, she hasn’t confirmed any arrests in the case, although there are some clues that may be helpful moving forward.

“We have somebody on camera and we have a sense of what the person looks like,” Moore says. Even so, she says it’s possible break-ins are being committed by more than one person.


The crimes haven’t interfered with the creative scene, which is concentrated between about Seventh and 15th avenues. It’s a popular destination for First Friday, and two festivals have taken place there in recent weeks.

Still, they’ve affected several businesses, including Novel Ice Cream, Mexican restaurant Bacanora, and Pueblo, a plant shop.

click to enlarge Shoppers exploring Pueblo on Grand Avenue, one of several break-in locations. - LYNN TRIMBLE
Shoppers exploring Pueblo on Grand Avenue, one of several break-in locations.
Lynn Trimble

“It looks like they’re mainly after cash,” says Moore. The perpetrator has taken an ATM and broken into cash boxes, but Moore says an attempt to break into a safe wasn’t successful. Other items, including a computer, have been left behind.

She’s noticed some commonalities between the various incidents, such as the thief turning off electrical boxes to disable alarms. Sometimes, the perpetrator hits a particular space more than once.


Several police reports have been filed, according to Moore.

Turns out, this isn’t the only property crime happening in the area. For many months, this particular strip of Grand Avenue has been vandalized by graffiti writers.

click to enlarge Bacanora restaurant was also hit during the recent rash of break-ins. - NATASHA YEE
Bacanora restaurant was also hit during the recent rash of break-ins.
Natasha Yee
Moore says she alerted area businesses to the rash of break-ins, and many have responded by installing cameras. “It would really be ideal if a silent alarm went off and we could catch this person red-handed,” she adds.

A community meeting has been scheduled for next Tuesday morning, November 16. Phoenix City Council member Yassamin Asari and Phoenix police sergeant Ardavan Jorjani are both planning to attend, and additional police officers may be present as well.

It’s possible the community will get some good news that day.

“My understanding is they have apprehended someone,” Moore told Phoenix New Times in a November 10 email. “However, there may be more than one perp out there.”
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble