BAGDAD, AZ – On June 8th, 2021 a witness reported seeing a man trespassing at a house that had burned in the Bagdad-Spur fire. The witness observed the man taking a rifle from the rubble and leaving it in a white van.
Later that day, a YCSO Deputy spotted the white van and made contact with the driver, 45-year old Jorge Meza-Diaz of Bagdad. When questioned, Meza-Diaz admitted to the deputy that he had taken the rifle from the burned house but denied taking any items from any other home. The suspect had stashed the rifle at his home and allowed the deputy to recover it. The rifle was determined to be a pellet rifle and still had soot on it from the burned house.
On June 9th, 2021, a search warrant was conducted at the home of Jorge Meza-Diaz. Deputies discovered and seized other soot-covered items that likely came from other burned properties. “The residents of Bagdad have already been through a lot. So, to have someone attempt to burglarize people that have already been robbed of so much is disgusting,” said Sheriff David Rhodes. “A big thank you to the witness who called in suspicious activity and great work to the deputies who continued to follow the case until an arrest was made.”
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is asking that Bagdad homeowners who lost their house to the wildfire, check their properties when safe and feasible to do so, to determine if they were also victims of theft.