Car Thief Nabbed In Sting

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Gila County Sheriff's officers arranged a sting operation Wednesday that led to the arrest of an Apache Junction man attempting to sell a stolen car in Payson.

GCSO Det. Brian Havey said that he had received word from a reliable, confidential informant that 22-year-old Bradley Allen was in the Payson area, trying to sell a stolen mini-van.

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Bradley Allen

"We quickly contacted the Gila County Narcotics Task Force for assistance and they agreed to help us," Havey said. "They brought an undercover agent up from Globe and provided the money to do the buy on the vehicle."

The undercover officer, wearing a wire, met with Allen in the parking lot behind Country Kitchen.

"The subject tells the undercover agent that he doesn't need to worry about the van and that it belonged to a snowbird who did not even know it was stolen yet," Havey said.

Allen accepted $600 for the minivan, valued at $12,000.

After money changed hands, the two went for a test drive and Sheriff's deputies closed in.

"They were stopped in an empty parking area near Rim Country Mall and officers took the agent and the suspect down at gunpoint and placed both under arrest," Havey said.

"As I was patting down the suspect for weapons, a 10-inch throwing knife was in his right rear pocket. A large white baggie of methamphetamine was in his right front pocket and a glass methamphetamine pipe was in his change pocket," Havey said. "(Allen) stated he was making a deal for methamphetamine with the other person in the vehicle who he didn't know was an agent at the time."

Allen later confessed to trying to sell the stolen vehicle and was charged with possession of dangerous drugs, paraphernalia, theft of means of transportation, trafficking in stolen property, and fraudulent schemes.

This is not the first time that Allen has been caught with stolen property, the detective said.

"When we executed a search warrant for stolen property in Oxbow Estates in 2002," Havey said, "(Allen) was on the property in a stolen mini-van."

Drugs and paraphernalia and other stolen items were found in the minivan.

"He was arrested and charged, but the Gila County Attorney's office never filed a complaint," Havey said, and Allen was released.

The case has been submitted to the Gila County Attorney for prosecution.

Allen is being held at the Gila County jail in lieu of $7,500 bond.

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