Tucson man arrested in case of serial burglar, sexual predator targeting single women near UA

A month-long series of burglaries and sexual assaults targeting single women living near the University of Arizona may be over with the arrest of a Tucson man in connection with the crimes.

The burglar preyed on single women living alone/Thinkstock

Barbaro Tamayo, 49, was arrested Sept. 14 in connection with the case, which involved six “sexually motivated” burglaries, according to a news release from the Tucson Police Department.

Tamayo’s only charge at the moment is one count of attempted sexual assault, but detectives are still investigating the possilibity that he is responsible for one or more of the other cases.

Detectives also “have reasons to believe” that the same suspect is responsible for all six burglaries.

The intruder preyed on single women living alone, creeping into their homes between midnight and 4 a.m. while the women were asleep. Police gave no further details on the crimes, except to say, “(The suspect) has also been very aggressive and has violent tendencies when confronted by the victims.”

The targeted area of his crimes was between Speedway Boulevard and Broadway, from Campbell Road to Stone Avenue.

While the series of sexually motivated burglaries lasted 30 days, Tayamo was tracked down within two hours of a warrant being issued for his arrest.

Tamayo was taken into custody “without incident” at his Tucson home by the Tucson police Adult Sexual Assault Detail after several agencies worked together to locate him.

Those agencies were the Tucson Police Department’s Sex Offender Registration and Tracking (SORT) Unit, the United States Marshals Service, and the Pima County Sheriffs Department Fugitive Investigations Strike Team (FIST).

Police are not yet releasing Tamayo’s photo until addition investigation is complete.


What do you think?

How should women living alone best protect themselves from intruders?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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21 Responses to Tucson man arrested in case of serial burglar, sexual predator targeting single women near UA

  1. tiponeill says:

    Good police work – a lot better than pot busts 🙂

  2. Alan in Kent WA says:

    This has been a problem in TOP for a long time.  Historically, these people have been thrown in the slammer for a long time without mercy.  I hope it still happens. 

  3. Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

    Actually, this guy has been committing crimes in Sam Hughes for nearly 7 years. i used to live there. In the past, TPD would take him away and they let him go pretty fast. He goes right back to it. Escalating just recently to sexual and violent actions, I hope that they don’t let him back out, but am sure they will.. I understand that he has refugee status, as well as mental illness.

    • fraser007 says:

      With those two problems he sounds like a model Tucson citizen.

    • Just Wondering says:

      This also falls in line with two sexual assaults that occured December 31, 2005 and June 5 2007. The individual in one of the cases has the same descriptors as this guy but police were adamant that they had their guy. The evidence prosecution brought to the table was questionable and not a 100% match in either case. He was still convicted. Do you think the police were undercutting the public by not running a complete and thorough investigation to possibly cover up there own inadequacies? Just wondering…

  4. Alan in Kent WA says:

    All of that type of sobby eyed feel sorry for the perpetrator stuff will work here in the PRS. (People’s Republic of Seattle)  For all of my friends there in TOP, I hope that isn’t true for Tucson as it didn’t used to be that way.  The prosecutor would make sure that these people didn’t see the light of day when I was there.  If that is not the truth any more, then put people in who will make the streets safe.   

    • Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

      Are you referring to my post with your”sobby eyed feel sorry for” comment? If so, I don’t know what you are reading into my comment. It was simply a point I am making about how criminals are let go for these reasons. The guy is mentally ill, therefore they release him to a group home/mens shelter or some other location. They probably even get him on meds to control his behavior. You ought to know as well as I do that they do not have to stay on medications and they get released out to the streets.
      However, this does not work. Tucson, as well as Seattle, have tons of homeless mentally ill people running around. We probably have more of them here, due to the climate. My comment was pointing out, without with any sympathy, except for the people who keep getting victimized by him, about how the guy keeps getting out.

      • Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

        Additionally, like I said, this guy has been at it in the Sam Hughes neighborhood for 7 years. (with proof of that via neighborly listserve safety alert emails, as well as police updates about the guy.) How do you think TPD caught the guy so fast? They are all too familiar with the guy. NOW it escalates to sex crimes and increasing violence. Too bad it had to get to that before this happened. It’s a damn shame.  I feel sympathy for the women who were sexually victimized before TPD was able to do something about it.

      • Alan in Kent WA says:

        Don’t worry, I was agreeing with you.  I have not lived in TOP for almost 20 years.  I wuz just hopin’ that the attitude didn’t change there and become like here.

      • Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

        Glad someone does. Thanks. It is a problem with no easy solution. I do know mentally ill people who are not violent. However, everyone has “rights”. It is the right of a mentally ill person to stop taking medication. It is their right to be released to a mental health program or into a facility until they are deemed safe to be released back into the general public. Unfortunately, in cases like this, they have to escalate to violate a woman sexually or murder someone before the police can do something about it. Tucson’s climate invites homeless people. I have sympathy for most of them. I have sympathy for the mentally ill. However, it angers me when matters have to escalate to this point before police can do something about it. Seven years is an extremely long time for homes to be robbed, residents to be victimized before he started victi

      • Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

        sorry..victimizing sexually. Those women now have to live with the memories of these incidents because the police couldn’t hold him for seven whole years.

      • leftfield says:

        I do know mentally ill people who are not violent.

        Most mentally ill people are not violent.  In times past, it was far too easy to have people “committed”.  So easy, that it was easy enough for parents to commit their gay son or for a spouse to commit their partner.  Today, you have to prove that someone is a danger to themselves or others.  The problem is that, as a society, we are not willing to commit the resources to care for those who cannot care for themselves.  Part of caring for them, along with therapy, would be adequate evaluation and follow-up to determine the risks.  It’s not only the mentally ill who get the short shaft, there’s a lot of children in the system who can’t count on much more than a bed, clothing and food.  We have decided these people are not worth spending money on.  Too bad what goes around comes around.

      • Cherlyn Gardner Strong says:

        Leftfield, I agree. My mother is manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic.  I cannot do anything for the things she does until she becomes a danger to herself or others. She has served brief stints in Kino hospital for things she has done, but she is released and does not have to stay confined. They release her when they deem she is fine. When she gets bad, she does not take her meds. This is something that my mother does, not me. I have tried and tried to get attention on this issue, but folks don’t care until someone gets hurt. Then, it’s all of a sudden: “why did the system fail?”
        This does not only apply to mentally ill folks in the sense that most people think of. When my husband’s mother developed dementia, we could not do much to get her into a facility. She had to do things like get lost in her car, drive the wrong way down the road, and mistake her gas pedal for the brake pedal, endangering other people. I have called and called different mental health resources for the help for my mother and my mother-in-law,  but they have rights. Those rights might lead to things like this.
        What constitutes a “danger to self or others” doesn’t mean much until they actually hurt themselves or others. Great laws we have.

  5. chipz says:

    This guy is nothing more than a knuckle dragging coward.

  6. Hoosier Woman says:

    I had to click “other” in the vote because there wasn’t a “sick in the head” option to click on.

  7. Rynski says:

    cherlyn – just wanted to thank you again for your additional info on the topic, both posted here and what you sent me, which helped lead to thursday’s blog topic on tamayo’s background.
    here’s the link for those interested in checking it out:

    tucson man example of failed system

    i agree, it is a total shame, to put it VERY lightly, that this situation is so out of control and people can really end up hurt.

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