Blowtorch burglar arrested in new case, police say

A man with a reported history of using a blowtorch in burglaries has been arrested in a new case, Springfield police say.

Posted: Oct 27, 2020 12:51 PM
Updated: Oct 27, 2020 1:29 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A man with a reported history of using a blowtorch in burglaries has been arrested in a new case, Springfield police say.

Joseph Ryan Belecz, 26, was arrested on Monday in connection with a burglary at Kwiki Car Wash, 1570 J St. on Oct. 22. He faces charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief.

Police said Belecz was captured on video surveillance using a blowtorch to try to break into the coin-operated machines. Belecz was reportedly unsuccessful but caused at least $1,000 in damage, they said.

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In May, Belecz was arrested for a burglary at Hutch's Bicycle Shop, and in July, he was arrested for a burglary at Northwest Welding School. Police said the man was caught on video surveillance systems in both burglaries and used a blowtorch at the Hutch's burglary.

Belecz allegedly tried to sell stolen items from both burglaries, and some of the items have been recovered.

Police said Belecz may be tied to other local burglaries, and the investigation is ongoing. If you have any information, contact police at 541-726-3721.

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