Routine license check reveals stolen plate, man with warrant

SAFFORD – A police officer on patrol at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Monday, August 5, 2019 observed a dark colored Chevy four door sedan parked near the front doors of a convenience store on 1st Avenue. The officer checked the registration on the vehicle as he drove by. The vehicle had just parked and several people got out of the vehicle and went into the store. The officer was unable to see who was driving.

The registration check indicated that the license plate on the vehicle was not valid for highway use. The officer ran the VIN of the vehicle that returned with a different registration name and license plate number.

The officer approached one of the people who had arrived in that car and asked about the vehicle. The man identified himself as Matthew Martin and told the officer that the car belonged to a friend. The name of the friend he gave to the officer was different than the name on the vehicle’s registration.

The man retrieved his wallet and identification from the car. A background check revealed that Martin had a Maricopa County probation violation warrant with a $2,500 bond. He was arrested and placed in the back seat of a patrol vehicle. Several syringes were found on the side of the building where Martin had been standing. Martin had the keys to the car in his pocket. He told the officer that a friend had let him drive the car.

The license plate was removed from the vehicle and entered into evidence as stolen. He was booked into the Graham County Jail on the warrant and the vehicle was towed from the scene.