SAFFORD – Just after 10:00 pm on Saturday night, an officer traveling through the parking lot of Circle K on Highway 70 noticed a vehicle parked near the dumpster on the side of the building even though there were numerous parking spaces available in front of the store. A man was sitting in the driver’s seat but the engine of the vehicle did not appear to be running. As the officer drove behind the vehicle, he noticed some movement inside and then the driver got out and went into the store.
The officer parked nearby and walked up to the vehicle where it could be seen that the vehicle was unlocked, the passenger window down, the keys in the ignition, and there was a backpack and a woman’s purse in the backseat area. From past experience, the officer felt the driver had left the vehicle in a hurry when he saw police in the area.
When the man came back to his vehicle, the officer approached him and pointed out that he had left his vehicle unsecured. The man asked the officer if there was a lot of theft in Safford and the officer stated that there was. The man thanked the officer for watching the vehicle for him. The officer then stated that through experience, in situations such as this, they have found drugs to be involved. The man denied being involved in drug activity but stated he had gotten in trouble as a juvenile for marijuana.
When the officer asked, the man reported the backpack in the vehicle belonged to him and agreed to show it to the officer. The man appeared nervous to the officer as they spoke. The man reported to the officer that there were no guns or drugs in the vehicle, but then admitted later that there was a little amount of heroin in the vehicle along with a syringe. The man gave the officer his ID identifying himself and reported that he just barely started using heroin and he is on probation. He also stated he had used heroin within the past day. More officers arrived to assist with searching the vehicle. No other drugs or illegal items were located. After the items were collected, the man made arrangements for the vehicle and himself to be picked up.