ORO VALLEY - John Ontiveros, 83, had his iPad stolen at a restaurant while he was talking to a friend about his new purchase around the holidays.
Ontiveros told his friend he had just been at the Apple store getting instructions on how to use it.
He said a nicely dressed young man offered to help him set up the tablet. Ontiveros appreciated the kind gesture and even bought the man a beer.
Video surveillance showed the man taking the iPad out of the restaurant and told Ontiveros he had to go to his car to install a special app.
The man left and never came back. Ontiveros said his iPad was stolen from right under his nose.
The suspect had mentioned to Ontiveros he was from Phoenix and he worked for Verizon.
Fast-forward to today, after the story aired on News 4 Tucson our sister station KPNX Channel 12 picked up the story.
That’s when Oro Valley Police Detectives said they received several anonymous tips identifying the suspect as 28 year-old Jayson Michael Payne.
Payne was arrested and booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of theft.
Ontiveros said, when the detective gave him the news, he said it was relieved the man had been caught so that he wouldn’t victimize other people.
Oro Valley Police spokeswoman, Sgt. Carmen Trevizo said, Payne had a drug problem.
Payne is said to be addicted to opioids and he was stealing to feed his habits.
Ontiveros said out of a negative, there were positives. He mentioned the News 4 Tucson Viewer Aaron Johnson who saw the initial story and gave him an iPad.
Ontiveros said he was thankful to all of the viewers who recognized Payne and called in the tips.
Sgt. Trevizo said, this is a classic case where the community, the media and police came together to solve a crime in order to protect the public.