By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A man who was located in the trunk of his car in the desert off Golf Course Road claimed a person identifying themselves as a police officer put him there. However, he could have simply have seen a “pink” officer when one really wasn’t there.
Officers responded to the vicinity of Golf Course Road and 20th Avenue at about 5:45 a.m. on Sunday, June 25, regarding a report of a stolen vehicle. The reporting party advised he had been pulled over by a white SUV and a man he believed to be an officer put him in the trunk.
A Honda Accord was then located in the desert just west of the Safford RV Park and the caller was found in the trunk.
The man said he had been placed in the trunk by the officer impersonator at about 5:10 a.m. while his car was still running. However, the keys to the vehicle were found inside the trunk with him.
Additionally, he initially said the vehicle the officer impersonator was driving looked like a Safford Police vehicle but the badge he was wearing looked like a Thatcher Police badge. He then switched it around and said the vehicle looked like a Thatcher Police vehicle and the badge looked like a Safford Police badge.
No evidence of anyone else or any other vehicle was found at the scene and no dirt was disturbed around the Honda. The man also admitted to drinking alcohol throughout the night and showed multiple signs of still being intoxicated.
The Safford officer then locked up the Honda with the man’s permission and gave him a ride home. He advised the man to not return for his car until later in the afternoon after sobering up first.