Aug 30, 2013 1:35 PM by Faye DeHoff

Coolidge man arrested in theft of farm equipment

COOLIDGE - A Pinal County man has been arrested for stealing farm equipment from a Coolidge farm.

On Monday, August 26, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office received a call from a citizen reporting the theft of a large water pump. Deputies went to the area of Kleck Road and Wheeler Road in Coolidge to investigate. When they arrived, the victim told them someone had damaged a canal pump in the area. The suspect ruined the pump by removing several functional parts including a large radiator, piping, water meter and fuel reservoir. The stolen parts were valued at over $6,600 and the damage to the pump was $1,800.

Deputies collected evidence left at the scene and took photos of the tire impressions left by the suspect vehicle. The tire impressions were distinct due to the fact the suspect vehicle had three of the same tires and one different tire, which left a different tread impression in the dirt.

Deputies searched a nearby neighborhood and located a vehicle backed into a residence in the 400 block of West Taylor Avenue in Coolidge. The tires on the vehicle matched the distinct tread impression left in the dirt at the scene. At the residence, deputies' questioned 56-year old Kirt Watts.

Watts denied being involved with the theft of the water pump. He said that he was visiting a friend at this address but that he lives in the 1000 block of South 3rd Street in Coolidge. Watts also said that he stays with his mother at another nearby residence.
Watts was allowed to leave the residence and deputies continued to investigate. A short time later, a deputy responded to Watts residence and could see in his yard the items stolen from the water pump. The victim of the theft also responded to the residence and positively identified the equipment as being stolen from his farm.

PCSO Property Crimes Detectives took over the investigation. A search warrant was obtained and the items were recovered; except for the radiator. Watts was located and arrested at his mother's residence.


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