Phoenix, Arizona.- On the afternoon of January 10, 2023, detectives with the Vehicle Theft Task Force (VTTF) served two residential search warrants in the area of 204th Lane and Patton Road in Wittmann, AZ. The warrants followed several weeks of investigation, during which detectives observed numerous suspected stolen vehicles on the property. Suspects were also observed transporting stolen vehicles on and off of the property.
During service of the search warrants, detectives recovered the following items:
-Two stolen pickup trucks
-Two stolen motorhomes
-Two stolen trailers
-One stolen skid steer Bobcat
-One stolen handgun
Detectives arrested 50-year-old Ronald Barnum, of Wittmann, on charges including:
-Theft of means of transportation (5 counts)
-Possession of dangerous drugs
-Possession of narcotic drugs
-Possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor.
Detectives also arrested 32-year-old Joshua Reiff, of El Mirage, on charges including theft of means of transportation and resisting arrest, and 48-year-old Jesse Romero, of Surprise, on a charge of unlawful use of means of transportation.
Troopers were assisted by Goodyear Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and Surprise Police Department.
The VTTF is comprised of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies participating in a concerted effort to identify, apprehend, and prosecute individuals and criminal organizations that profit from the theft of motor vehicles and related crimes.
The VTTF serves a vital mission on behalf of the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority (AATA) to reduce vehicle theft in Arizona by deterring criminal activity through effective and proactive enforcement, prosecution and public awareness programs. The VTTF is substantially funded by an annual grant from the AATA.