By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A Thatcher youth was set for a night of popcorn and movies until a chance encounter with a Thatcher officer shut down his party.
The 14-year-old juvenile was spotted by a Thatcher sergeant as the youth ran westbound across 20th Avenue while pushing a shopping cart loaded with a 55-inch TV. The officer stopped the youth, who said he just happened to have lost his receipt.
The officer then detained the youth and informed County Dispatch of the situation, which then sent out a Safford officer to the location.
During interrogation, the youth allegedly admitted to stealing the TV along with a red jacket he was wearing and several DVDs that were stuffed inside the jacket. Another officer corroborated the theft by Walmart staff, and said the value of the items was $480.
The juvenile was transported to his residence in Thatcher and his mother was informed of the situation. The officer also advised that the matter would be referred to Juvenile Probation, and that a probation officer would be contacting her.