Elk Wreck Leads To Robbery

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Some days you just can't win.

Driving on Highway 260 at around 5 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 1, a young man collided with an elk.

His vehicle was totaled, but he thought his luck had changed when two women stopped around 5:30 a.m. and gave him a ride to the pay phone in front of the Tall Pines Market in Christopher Creek. They left him there and headed back the way they had come.

He called in the accident and waited. Then he saw the girls' vehicle again, and recognized his cooler in it.

He called the Gila County Sheriff's Office and reported them.

Officer Karen Baltz stopped the women and began to question them. One of them dropped a plastic bag of methamphetamines and the stolen property also was in plain view, according to information from Sheriff's Det. Brian Havey.

The vehicle was impounded and the its owner, Nicole Rice, 33, Phoenix, consented to its search. The search netted two more ounces of meth and an ounce of high-quality marijuana, Havey said.

Investigators believe that upon dropping off the driver of the wrecked vehicle, the women returned to the scene of the accident and took his shotgun, camping gear and stereo equipment.

Rice and Jennifer Lynn Pearson, 31, Phoenix, were arrested and are facing a number of charges, Havey said. They are in custody in the county jail in lieu of $10,000 bonds each.

Another burglary

The Payson Police Department arrested 27-year-old Richard Ray Carswell Friday for one count of burglary in the second degree.

Groundskeepers went to work at a residence on South Sutton around 5 p.m., Aug. 30 and a man came to the door and asked them for cigarettes.

The workers didn't think anyone was supposed to be in the house, so they contacted the owners in Scottsdale for confirmation.

Learning the man was trespassing, they called the police.

It took until 11 p.m. to get Carswell out of the house, an effort which involved both the canine unit and Special Response Team because it was believed he was armed, according to Payson Police Lt. Don Engler.

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