Phoenix — On Wednesday, September 12, at about 9:17 a.m., Via’a Alaimalo, 25, from California was taken into custody by detectives with the Arizona Border Strike Force (BSF) Vehicle Theft Task Force (VTTF) in the area of McDowell and 52nd Dr. in Phoenix. Alaimalo had an active felony warrant for a homicide that occurred in San Bernardino County, CA.
At about 7:15 a.m., detectives with the VTTF located a Ford Explorer in the parking lot of a local area motel that had been used in a homicide in San Bernardino County. VTTF detectives contacted detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and received a description of the suspect associated with the homicide. Using that description, the VTTF detectives were able to identify Alaimalo walking outside of the motel.
With the assistance of AZDPS Fugitive Task Force detectives and members of the AZDPS SWAT team, Alaimalo was taken into custody without incident. At the time of his arrest he was found in possession of a .25 caliber handgun and a small amount of black tar heroin. Detectives and a crime scene investigator from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department traveled to Phoenix to assist in the investigation.
Alaimalo was booked into the Maricopa County jail for the confirmed homicide warrant and in awaiting his extradition hearing.
Captain P. Etnire, BSF VTTF Commander, said, “Our dedicated VTTF detective, coordinating resources from AZDPS with detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, led to the successful result of having the suspect taken into custody and preserving valuable evidence for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department case detectives. Criminals may think their chances of being apprehended are reduced when they cross jurisdictions, but we know by working together in a collaborative effort we can safeguard and protect our communities.”
The ultimate goal in the creation of the Arizona Border Strike Force is to deter, disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations that breach the border in their quest to conduct criminal activity in our state. Specific units within the Border Strike Force Bureau include the Canine District, the Southern Investigations District, and the Vehicle Theft District.
For additional information related to the homicide, please contact the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.