Car involved in two accidents in one day, allegedly stolen

Safford police were dispatched to a convenience store on 8th Avenue in Safford last Monday at approximately 5:00 pm, regarding a hit and run accident. Witnesses told authorities that a silver SUV struck a Kia. One of the witnesses had taken a photo of the vehicle and driver before the driver of the SUV fled the scene.

The driver of the Kia said the he was traveling south on 8th Avenue at approximately 30 MPH. He noticed a silver Nissan SUV coming toward him. The SUV made a left turn and struck the front of the Kia. After the collision, the SUV sped off heading south on 8th Avenue. The driver of the Kia did not see the driver of the SUV.

The passenger also said that the SUV made a sudden left turn and collided with the Kia. He described the driver of the SUV as approximately 50 years old with a beard. He said there was a passenger in the SUV who also had a beard.

Another witness described the driver and occupant of the SUV as Hispanic males with beards. The witness said that the SUV was driving northbound on 8th Avenue from Relation Street. The witness saw the SUV swerve and almost hit a pedestrian. The SUV collided with the Kia, then left the scene heading south on 8th Avenue.

Within the hour, Thatcher police officers responded to a Silver Nissan XTerra that had been involved in a hit and run accident in Daley Estates. The reporting party said that the driver fled the scene on foot. The Silver Nissan XTerra was still there when authorities arrived. The vehicle had damaged a fence and a natural gas meter. The gas meter was spewing a large amount of gas in the area. People in the area were evacuated.

Authorities ran the license plate of the vehicle and found it belonged to a Safford Resident. While searching for the driver who had fled the scene authorities were notified that the owner of the vehicle wanted to report it as stolen. By this time, Thatcher police officers had identified the driver who had fled the scene as the husband of the woman reporting the vehicle as stolen.

A Safford officer went to the residence of the vehicle’s owner. The woman told the officer that her Grey, 2003 Nissan was parked in her carport that morning. She said that she leaves the keys in the ignition. She told the officer that her husband had left the residence between 10:30 and 11:00 am. She said that her husband does not have a driver’s license and did not take the vehicle. She did not know where he went, who he was with and she had not been able to contact him by phone.

The officer told her about the accidents her vehicle was involved in and explained that the vehicle was left at the scene of the final accident in Thatcher.

The officer asked to see her cell phone calls and text messages. She told the officer that she had deleted them because, that’s just what she does. She showed the officer her call log, which did not show any calls or texts for the day.

According to the police report, one of the woman’s vehicles was previously involved in a hit and run accident involving her husband. Thatcher police issued an Attempt to Locate for the man.