updated 12/30/2007 9:27:01 PM ET 2007-12-31T02:27:01

Authorities on Sunday found 37 suspected illegal immigrants concealed in a truck, some hiding behind pallets of bell peppers.

Police found the immigrants while investigating a tip about a tractor-trailer parked in the middle of the road in suburban Tolleson. They initially discovered a dozen people in the truck.

Later, an officer noticed the pallets did not go all the way to the back of the semitrailer.

Police climbed up, and spotted 23 people behind the bell peppers. Two more were found hiding nearby in an abandoned trailer. In all, 37 immigrants were found, including five children, Sgt. Lisa Mendoza said.

They were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. An agency spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment Sunday.

Investigators believe the smugglers of the illegal immigrants got away.

Tolleson is about 10 miles west of Phoenix.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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