Police in Surprise take bite out of crime with arrest in ‘Croc Bandit’ case

May 7, 2024, 8:13 AM

PHOENIX – Police in Surprise took a bite out of crime Monday by making an arrest in what they are calling the “Croc Bandit” case.

Richard Elizondo, 31, is accused of smashing windows with a shovel at multiple businesses near Bell and Litchfield roads in the early hours of April 29.

He was booked into jail on eight counts of criminal damage, according to jail records. His bond was set at $10,000.

The Surprise Police Department dubbed the suspect the “Croc Bandit” because of his choice of comfortable footwear as seen on surveillance video.

The following businesses were damaged, police said:

  • Molly & Friends Dog Grooming
  • Sunridge Apartments
  • Lou’s Tivoli Gardens
  • 99 Cents Only Store
  • State 48 Brewery
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • My Daddy’s Italian Bakery & Café
  • Sun City Elks Lodge

How did Surprise Police crack ‘Croc Bandit’ case?

Elizondo was arrested five days after police posted images of a man wielding a shovel while wearing Crocs and asked the public for help identifying him.

The suspect was seen leaving the area in a silver hatchback.

“Thank you to everyone who shared this post,” the Surprise Police Department said on Facebook while announcing the arrest. “Our community was able to ID the suspect and his vehicle.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News


Residents outside Kearny evacuated due to Simmons fire

Residents outside of Kearny have been placed on "GO-EVACUATE" status due to the Simmons fire, according to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office.

1 hour ago

An aerial view of the undeveloped downtown area of Apache Junction, Arizona....

Kevin Stone

Apache Junction spends $2.9M on historic property in move to help revitalize downtown area

Apache Junction paid $2.9 million for a historic piece of downtown property as the East Valley suburb works to redevelop its core.

2 hours ago


Nick Borgia

22-year-old man shot dead in his car in north Phoenix

The Phoenix Police Department announced that 22-year-old Carlos Mercado Chavez was shot dead in his car overnight in north Phoenix.

3 hours ago


Nick Borgia

Detectives seize over 180 pounds of fentanyl in Phoenix

Detectives seized approximately 181.9 pounds of fentanyl pills last week in the Phoenix area, authorities announced.

4 hours ago

Arizona's Aliyah Alpert, 13, moved on to the quarterfinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ...

Danny Shapiro

Arizona girl moves on to quarterfinals of Scripps National Spelling Bee

One of Arizona's two participants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee is moving on to Wednesday's quarterfinals after perfect preliminary rounds.

5 hours ago

A woman will be arrested after a bomb was found at a Phoenix apartment complex on May 27, 2024. (AP...

Woman to be arrested for bomb threat at Phoenix apartment complex

A woman will be arrested for a bomb threat that was made at a Phoenix apartment complex on Monday, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Police in Surprise take bite out of crime with arrest in ‘Croc Bandit’ case