Man arrested for stealing woman’s wallet

SAFFORD – Police were dispatched to Copper Mountain Mobile Home park around noon on Saturday in reference to a burglary. The landlord was already prepared to share with authorities video footage of the theft that had taken place.

The officer immediately recognized the man on camera as, Vincent Congdon and also the woman with him. The video apparently showed Congdon and the woman with him, walking by the victim’s vehicle and looking inside as he walked by. The two stopped just past the vehicle, turned around and walked behind the dumpsters across the access road and stopped by the irrigation canal, setting down a backpack Congdon had on. He then returned to the same vehicle acting like he was on the phone and approached the passenger side. Congdon then appeared to check to ensure the front passenger door was unlocked and opened the door enough to disengage the door mechanism. Congdon then walked back over to the dumpsters and paused before re-approaching the vehicle, acting as if he were on the phone again. He looked around before opening the front passenger door and quickly took what appeared to be a small black and gold object out and stuffed it down the front of his shorts. Congdon then returned to the irrigation canal and picked up his backpack before leaving with the woman.

The victim reported to police that she had arrived at her residence and usually locks her vehicle all the time. She had not locked the vehicle because she was going to her neighbor’s to pick up some food and go back to her vehicle. When the victim returned to her vehicle, she noticed her wallet was missing along with a pack of cigarettes she had just purchased. The wallet contained her out of state birth certificate, social security card, a bank debit card, Arizona drivers licensed, medical cards and $80 cash with change. Due to it being the weekend, the victim stated she was unable to report her debit card stolen because she didn’t have a number to call and cancel it, however, she said there was no money in the account and it did not allow for overdrafts, so she felt the card could not be used. The victim told authorities she wished to pursue charges.

Later that evening when the responding officer was speaking with a fellow officer about the case, he was informed the two suspects he was looking for were just seen five minutes prior at AutoZone. The officer arrived at the store and saw Congdon speaking with a man on a four wheeler, wearing the same shirt he was wearing in the video footage recorded earlier. The officer informed Congdon that he needed to speak with him about the incident that had occurred  earlier that afternoon. Congdon admitted he and the woman had walked through the trailer park but had only stopped at the water for a short time before leaving. The officer informed him of the vehicle that had been burglarized, but Congdon denied stealing the wallet. The officer advised Congdon of the clear surveillance video of the incident, however, Congdon continued to deny the incident. Due to the police having the video showing Congdon getting into the vehicle and taking the wallet, he was handcuffed and asked to have a seat.

The officer then spoke with the woman in a truck at the location that he recognized from prior police contact and also as the woman in the video with Congdon earlier in the day, and informed her of the situation. The officer also could see in plain view the wallet matching the description of the one taken sitting in the truck. The woman denied any knowledge of a stolen wallet. The woman was informed of the video police had of her with Congdon. The woman stated she went to the water to sit because she was not feeling well and had no knowledge of what Congdon was doing. When the officer asked about the wallet sitting in the truck, the woman reportedly hesitated, and then stated Congdon had given it to her some time after they had stopped at the canal. The officer asked her to retrieve the wallet. When the officer looked inside, all that was left in the wallet was $40 and change. The woman was asked where the documents inside had gone, but she stated she did not know anything about the wallet.

Congdon was then approached by the officer, and as he held the wallet, the officer asked Condgon where he got it. After a few questions about the wallet, Congdon nodded his head and said he had taken the wallet, but denied spending any money out of it. He initially denied knowledge of where the documents inside the wallet went, but then started alluding to them being thrown away at Firth Park but then changed his story to the contents probably being thrown away at the nearby convenience store. Congdon pleaded to authorities, if he was able to find the contents of the wallet, that he would not be taken to jail. Police informed him, due to the charge being a felony, he would be going to jail whether the contents were located or not. The officer allowed Condgon a drink of his soda and to say goodby to the woman before being transported to the Graham County Jail and booked for 3rd Degree Burglary.

The officer spoke with the woman further about the situation, but she continued to deny knowing where the contents of the wallet were thrown out. She continued to report she did not know the wallet was stolen when Congdon gave it to her. She reported Congdon had bought stuff earlier, but did not know what money he used.

The contents of the wallet were searched for at the two locations Congdon had mentioned, unfortunately, the officer was unable to locate them. The officer returned the wallet to the victim and advised her to contact all the appropriate entities to report the items stolen.

Further review of charges for Congdon and potential charges for the woman are pending.