A man suspected in a series of vehicle burglaries dating back to January in the Desert Hot Springs “Spa Zone” was behind bars Monday.
Martin Martinez, 34, of Desert Hot Springs, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of second-degree burglary and a parole violation, according to jail records. Police said he is also suspected of vandalism, possession of methamphetamine and resisting arrest.
Just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Desert Hot Springs police spotted Martinez in the “Spa Zone,” an area just off Hacienda Avenue that features various resorts and spas, Detective Christopher Tooth said. Officers had been on the lookout for a man matching Martinez’s description in connection with a series of vehicle burglaries.
Martinez fled the scene upon seeing the officers. Following a foot pursuit, Martinez was detained around 10:45 a.m. at Hacienda Avenue and Club Circle Drive, jail records show.
Tooth said Martinez is suspected in about eight possible burglaries, but said he could be connected to other crimes still under investigation.
One of the burglaries was caught in January by a surveillance camera, which showed Martinez “throwing a large rock through the window of a truck parked in front of a local spa resort,” Tooth said. All of the alleged burglaries involved smashing vehicles’ windows with a rock and stealing whatever was inside.
Many of the victims were visitors to the area, although one burglary occurred in front of a house, Tooth said.
Officials did not say why Martinez allegedly targeted the Spa Zone.
Martinez is being held without bail at the Larry D. Smith Correctional facility in Banning, jail records show. He is tentatively set to appear in court Wednesday.