A Tempe man and his 17-year-old accomplice are under investigation for a string of felony crimes possibly committed in Payson, and in the Valley on the evening of Feb. 8 and in the early morning hours of Feb. 9, police said.
"We anticipate there will be additional charges against them," Payson Police Commander Don Engler said. "Between Gila and Maricopa counties, maybe we can get this cleared up."
The juvenile, a resident of Mesa, has been charged with theft of a means of transportation, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of burglary tools, third-degree burglary, theft and attempted theft of a means of transportation.
Terrall J. Gaderson, 23 of Tempe, was charged with theft of a means of transportation, possession of drug paraphernalia and probation violation.
The 17-year-old is being held in the Globe Juvenile Detention Center. Gaderson was booked into Gila County jail, Payson, and later, was transferred to Maricopa County jail.
The two were arrested just after 4 a.m. Feb. 9 by Officer Mike Varga.
According to Engler, Varga spotted the two suspects near Aero Drive and, with their suspicions piqued partly because of the early morning hour, went to investigate. By the time Varga got to where he had seen them, the suspects had disappeared. Varga continued to search the area and eventually found the two near their car, which was parked almost in the middle of the road.
The officer questioned both suspects and ran a license plate check, revealing that the car had been stolen. A background check also showed that Gaderson had a probation violation warrant for his arrest.
"(Varga) took them into custody and searched them and their vehicle," Engler said. "They had burglary tools in their pockets they were using to force their way into homes. They also broke into several vehicles that were not secured."
Varga's search also discovered glass pipes, commonly used in smoking methamphetamines, on the suspects, After the suspects were jailed, further investigation led police to believe their crime spree might have not been isolated to Payson.
"Prior to coming to Payson, we think they were involved in burglaries and theft in Mesa," Engler said.
A joint investigation by Payson Police and Maricopa County authorities is continuing.