ARIZONA NEWS

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.”

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