A 17-year-old Star Valley boy was arrested Jan. 29 by Gila County Sheriff's Detective Brian Havey, after the teen admitted to breaking into two businesses to get money to support his methamphetamine habit.
The juvenile, who will turn 18 next month, is expected to be charged as an adult in the burglaries and thefts which occurred at the Strait Country Bar and the Spur Bar earlier this week.
Officers investigating the burglaries followed a set of distinctive tracks to the juvenile's residence. With the help of some witnesses, officers located the juvenile, who had a pair of shoes matching the prints found at the two businesses.
Havey said the juvenile first denied any knowledge of the crimes, but later called the sheriff's office to confess after the evidence against him mounted.
Several items stolen in the burglaries were recovered after the juvenile told authorities where they were.
"All money taken was used to purchase drugs for personal use, according to the suspect," Havey said. "He claims he has had a methamphetamine problem for over a year."
Havey said he'll continue to investigate the crimes to determine if anyone else was involved, despite the teenager's statement that he acted alone.