Juvenile suspect arrested for crime spree involving multiple businesses

A juvenile suspect has been arrested for involvement in spree of criminal damage including damage to Graham County Rehabilitation vehicles, the Safford Theatre as well as burglaries of Safford Middle School, the Boys and Girls Club and Thriftee supermarket.

An officer investigating criminal damage to Graham County Rehabilitation vehicle vandalism was provided with video footage from their building and vehicles, which showed two individuals walking up to the vehicles, opening them and setting off a fire extinguisher. Both male subjects were wearing hoodies but one of their faces was partially visible showing curly brown hair.

The officer went to Graham County Probation where he was shown tracking information on an ankle monitor worn by a juvenile who had been arrested for being in possession of a stolen vehicle which was taken during the burglary at Safford Middle School. The ankle monitor showed the male teen being at GCRC during the time the video surveillance recorded the vandalism. The monitor showed his location at the Boys and Girls club during the time their vehicles were damaged.

Later, the officer was dispatched to the Safford Theatre where a large glass door at the back of the building was shattered. The owner of the property estimated the damage would be more than $1,000.00.

While checking out at the register of a convenience store, the officer observed a juvenile that fit the description of the suspect he had seen on multiple video cameras. The boy had long curly hair pulled in front of his forehead and was wearing a hoodie in the same fashion as the suspect on video. The officer showed the images to a fellow officer who agreed that the young man could be the suspect they were looking for.

The two officers approached the mother of the boy, who was at the gas pumps. The officers told the woman that they suspected her son might be involved in the criminal activity they were investigating. They showed her the images they had from the crime scenes and the woman agreed that it looked like her son. She told the officers that she was on her way the juvenile probation to have her son drug tested.

The officers spoke with the young man and asked him about his involvement in the crimes they were investigating. The teen denied any knowledge or involvement. He claimed that he was with another juvenile during the time in question, but the officer pointed out that the boy couldn’t have been with his friend since his friend was in Florence at a juvenile detention center during the time of the crimes. After brief questioning, the boy was allowed to leave with his mother.

Approximately 20 minutes later, an officer contacted the boy’s mother and asked her to bring her son to the police station for more questioning. The juvenile was taken to an interview room where the officers told him that they were not going to debate if it was or wasn’t him on the video camera footage. Finally, the boy opened up about his involvement and was turned over to Juvenile Probation. He’s facing charges of Criminal Damage, 3rd Degree Burglary, Theft of Means of Transportation and Theft.