A Safford police officer was dispatched to a residence in Safford on October 13, 2019, regarding the report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle was identified as a silver 4-door sedan. Prior to taking the call, the Safford officer had been notified by a Graham County Sheriff’s deputy of an abandoned vehicle matching the same description that had run off the road into the canal in the area of 8th Street and 1st Avenue in Thatcher. The abandoned vehicle was locked and the alarm was set. The Safford officer suspected that the person who wrecked the car still had the keys.
The Safford officer went to the home of the reporting party, whe told the officer that he had gone to be at approximately 8:00 p.m. the night before and when he woke up that morning, the car was missing from the carport in front of his residence. The man was visibly nervous and was shaking while speaking with the officer.
The officer asked the man if he still had the keys to the car and he said, ‘yes.’ The officer asked if anybody else had a key to the car. The man said, ‘no.’ The officer then told the man that he didn’t believe that his vehicle was really stolen and asked the man to be honest with him and tell him what really happened. The man then said that he was coming home late the night before and wrecked his car into the canal. He said that he had not been drinking but had been smoking marijuana.
The Safford officer issued the man a citation for false reporting and told him where he could pick up his car. The officer then contacted the deputy who advised him about the car in the canal and told him the owner had admitted to wrecking it.