Costa Mesa police officers hopped fences and ran through backyards last week in Mesa Verde to chase down a serial burglar, but this was no accidental nabbing of a suspect.
Police arrested Marc Christopher Marchetti — who just days earlier had been released from jail — on the afternoon of May 16 when they found him hiding in the yard of a house on Gisler Avenue, according to their report.
Detectives had started watching the 42-year-old, who was living in a Costa Mesa motel, after a string of burglaries in the area.
Marchetti has a history with Costa Mesa police.
Last year, officers arrested him on suspicion of stealing $5,000 in jewelry from a home on Aliso Avenue and possessing property taken during a burglary in Newport Beach.
Police said they caught him in October when he tried to sell stolen jewelry to a business in Costa Mesa.
In November, Marchetti pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property, and an Orange County Superior Court judge sentenced him to a short jail term and three years of formal probation.
This year, a Costa Mesa crime scene investigator was looking into multiple burglaries committed near the end of April and beginning of May. The investigator noticed the crimes were similar to Marchetti's alleged break-ins from the previous year.
The resemblances were enough for the investigator to check when Marchetti was released from jail. After discovering that he was freed April 18, the investigator notified Costa Mesa property detectives.
With only their suspicion tying Marchetti to the new burglaries, the detectives tracked him down at a motel near Harbor Boulevard and Gisler Avenue and started watching him.
On May 16, the detectives said they saw Marchetti slipping into the backyards of empty houses and confronted him. That's when he ran, police said.
Detectives called in officers to lock down the area, and they found Marchetti after a 20-minute search, according to police.
Police say he was wearing and carrying the spoils from a recent burglary when officers took him into custody.
Marchetti was booked into Orange County Jail and charged with burglary, receiving of stolen property, loitering and resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges Tuesday, according to court records.
Investigators are looking into whether Marchetti is tied to other burglaries in Costa Mesa or nearby cities during the monthlong span when he was out of jail.
He's being held without bail.