Two Arrested, Another Sought for Rehoboth Beach Burglary Spree - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Two Arrested, Another Sought for Rehoboth Beach Burglary Spree

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Marco A. Zavala-Zavala Marco A. Zavala-Zavala
Francis B. Ortiz Francis B. Ortiz

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Police have arrested two people and are looking for a third in connection with a string of burglaries that happened n the Rehoboth Beach area. 

Rehoboth Beach police said 18-year-old Marco A. Zavala-Zavala and a 17-year-old male, both from Newark, Del., are facing numerous felony charges.  Warrants have been issued for a third suspect, 22-year-old Francis B. Ortiz of Georgetown, Del., who police said remains at large.   

Police said the investigation began shortly after 3 a.m. March 27 when officers responded to the Purple Parrot on Rehoboth Avenue for a burglary alarm activation.  Upon arrival officers said they discovered that the business had been burglarized and money and alcohol had been stolen from inside.  Investigators said were able to obtain surveillance video that showed Zavala-Zavala and Ortiz were responsible, but their identity was unknown until the events of Sunday, April 3. 

Police said that at around 3 a.m. that Sunday, officers were called to respond to another burglary in the area of Third Street.  Officers contacted the homeowners on scene who stated that they had been awakened by their dogs barking.  The homeowners told officers that they looked to see what was alarming the dogs and they found the front the window of their home open and two laptop computers missing from their office.

Police said that earlier in the evening an officer had contacted three males, one of which was Zavala-Zavala, when he observed them standing on a bench in front of the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company attempting to untie the rope attached to the flagpole.  The officer collected their information and later learned that they were staying at the Breakers Hotel. Police said that at around 2:50 a.m., just prior to receiving the burglary call, the same officer saw Zavala-Zavala walking in the area of the Breakers Hotel, within a block of the burglary, carrying an object in his hand that resembled a laptop computer. 

Officers located Zavala-Zavala inside a room at the Breakers Hotel. When officers attempted to take Zavala-Zavala into custody, they said he fought with them, and tried to punch one of the officers. Officers were able to restrain Zavala-Zavala and place him in handcuffs without causing injury, according to investigators. They said the two laptop computers were recovered at the scene of Zavala-Zavala’s arrest.  

Police said a followup investigation revealed that Zavala-Zavala had burglarized two homes and a vehicle, in addition to the Purple Parrot Restaurant & Bar, stealing a television, jewelry, and handbags. Investigators said they also determined that Zavala-Zavala had unsuccessfully attempted to burglarize three other homes within four blocks of the Breakers Hotel causing damage to the homes by cutting screens and breaking a door. The 17-year-old suspect participated in the residential and vehicle burglaries by serving as a lookout for Zavala-Zavala, according to police.

Both Ortiz and Zavala-Zavala were identified as the suspects pictured in the surveillance video from the Purple Parrot Restaurant & Bar burglary, police said. 

Zavala-Zavala was arrested and charged with 15 felony charges to include three counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of attempted second-degree burglary, one count of wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, one count of third-degree burglary, six counts of second-degree conspiracy, and one count of theft under $1,500 where the victim is 62 or older.  Zavala-Zavala was also charged with 11 misdemeanor charges to include one count of resisting arrest, three counts of theft under $1,500, one count of attempted theft under $1,500, four counts of criminal mischief under $1,000 property, one count of second-degree trespass, and one count of underage consumption.  He was arraigned in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas and is being held on $76,400 cash bail at the Sussex Correctional Institution.

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with 12 felony charges to include three counts of second-degree burglary, three counts of attempted second-degree burglary, five counts of second-degree conspiracy, and one ount of theft under $1,500 where the victim is 62 or older. He was also charged with eight misdemeanor charges to include two counts of theft under $1,500, one count of attempted theft under $1,500, four counts of criminal mischief under $1,000 property, and one count of second-degree trespass. He was arraigned in the Sussex County Family Court and was released on $36,000 unsecured bail.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Francis B. Ortiz, charging him with one count of third-degree burglary, one count of second-degree conspiracy, both felony charges, and one count of misdemeanor theft under $1,500.  Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Ortiz is asked to contact Detective Tyler Whitman at (302) 524-1391 or submit a tip through Delaware Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-847-3333 or online at http://delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.  

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