Safford police were dispatched to the area around Thriftee Food and Drug in downtown Safford on Sunday morning at approximately 11:00 a.m., after several juveniles reportedly broke into a vehicle. The reporting party said that she had been shopping and was alerted by other shoppers that there were several kids breaking into her vehicle outside. The woman went outside and saw three juveniles around her car and one of them was inside the vehicle. The one inside the car had gone through the woman’s purse and had taken some candy. When the woman confronted the kids, the one in the car gave the candy back and all three juveniles ran away. At the time the police first made contact, the woman was not sure what else the juveniles might have taken.
Another officer located the juveniles on 2nd Avenue and Main Street. The victim was transported to the area and identified the three juveniles. She pointed out a male in the group and identified him as the one who was inside the vehicle rummaging through her purse.
Officers interviewing the juveniles about the incident initially reported that none of them were being honest about it and would not tell the true version of events. The boy who had been identified as the one in the car, going through the purse, was placed under arrest and handcuffed. The officer placed the juvenile in the back seat of a patrol vehicle and asked him to tell what had happened. The young man said that the group was walking to the store from a friend’s house and his two friends dared him to break into a car and steal something. He said that he found an unlocked car in the parking lot and got inside of it. He found a purse with five dollars and a bag of candy. He told the officer that he didn’t take the money, but took the bag of candy bars. He and his two friends apparently took candy from the bag. The juvenile said that when they were caught by the owner of the car, he gave the candy back and left.
Another officer spoke to the other two juveniles about the incident. One of them said that some of the candy that was taken from the bag was scattered in the area as they ran behind the store. The candy was later recovered by an officer. The two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents.
The juvenile who was arrested was taken to the Safford police department, where an officer filled out a juvenile referral. He asked the young man if he though being arrested and committing a felony was fun. The young man said, “yes.” Another officer asked the juvenile if he thought he might do something like this again. The young man shrugged his shoulders.
The young man was released to the custody of his mother and a referral was sent to the Graham County Juvenile Probation Department.