By Lauren DiSpirito
LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – Authorities have arrested a suspected serial burglar they say they’ve been hunting for a long time.
According to the Louisville Police Department, John Tyler Waldorf, 37, was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with several burglaries in that city, including two incidents that happened inside a neighborhood off of Via Appia Way on Feb. 19. A homeowner there, who did not want to be identified, says the burglar used a garage door opener he found inside her unlocked car to get inside her home.
“To know that somebody was in our house while we’re sleeping is terrifying,” she said.
Louisville detectives say Waldorf entered her home, and another house just a few doors down, stealing a purse and wallet from each before fleeing. No one inside the homes encountered Waldorf during the the crimes, Detective Ryan Morris said.
Surveillance images and tips led officers to Lakewood on Wednesday, where Waldorf was taken into custody with the help of several other law enforcement agencies, according to Morris.
“He was using other people’s identities. He was moving around from one place to another all the time — almost daily,” Louisville police spokesman Jeff Fisher said.
The arrest brought some relief to homeowners.
“It really sets me at ease,” said the homeowner who did not want to be identified, “as well as my neighbors and my children, to tell my girls, ‘Okay, this guy is gone.'”
Fisher said detectives found Waldorf had 16 outstanding arrest warrants from around the metro area for burglaries and a range of other offenses. Included in the crimes he was suspected of committing was a theft at a Walmart in Wheat Ridge in which Waldorf allegedly stole 19 laptops.
Police are now looking at Waldorf in connection to a third home burglary in Louisville and believe he may be tied to a crime ring that is operating throughout the Denver metro area.
“We’ve been looking for him hard and heavy for a while,” Fisher said. “The magnitude and scope of these crimes had a significant impact on our community.”