A suspected serial burglar accused of residential break-ins scattered across two Coachella Valley cities pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a dozen felony charges.
Teddy Kaiser Hartwell, 35, of Palm Springs, is charged with 11 counts of burglary and one count of receiving stolen property.
He was arraigned at the Banning Justice Center before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Alfonso Fernandez, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for May 14 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Hartwell, who was arrested Friday, remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.
He was taken into custody hours after deputies responded to a burglary call last Thursday night in the 40 block of Via Las Flores in Rancho Mirage, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Sgt. Christopher Ternes said the resident told deputies that while he was in his kitchen, he noticed a man inside his home with a flashlight, prompting him to call 911. The burglar then fled the home, hopped into a vehicle and sped away, Ternes said.
Deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle about six miles away in the 300 block of North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and made a traffic stop.
“Multiple items of stolen property were located during the search of Hartwell’s vehicle and his residence,” Ternes alleged.
Investigators said they were subsequently able to link Hartwell to a dozen other residential cat burglaries and two residential burglaries that occurred in the cities of Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage since March 30.
The defendant is accused of targeting homes in Palm Desert located on Oakmont Drive, Augusta Drive, Amid Drive, Woodhaven Drive and Marrakesh Drive. In Rancho Mirage, Hartwell is additionally accused in burglaries at homes on Via Haciendas, Seville Court and Porto Cielo Court, according to court papers.
Hartwell has prior felony convictions, including burglary and robbery, according to court records.