Suspended License Trips Up Alleged Burglar

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After nearly two months of tracking, Payson police officers stumbled upon a man they believe was part of a recent high-volume burglary during a routine traffic stop Wednesday.

Armando Crews, 27, of Mesa, was arrested July 22 at the Giant gas station near Home Depot and charged with first-degree burglary, felony theft, aggravated DUI/drug metabolite, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police searched for Crews for several months because they believe he was part of a June 1 burglary at a southeast Payson home and involved in various illegal drug activities in the area. Several high-cost items were stolen during the burglary. Police arrested several juveniles in connection with the break-in and were looking for Crews, who had left the area shortly after the burglary, said Payson Police Sgt. Dean Faust.

On Wednesday, detectives with the special enforcement unit saw Crews driving through town and pulled him over for a suspended license.

During a search of the vehicle, police reportedly found approximately half an ounce of marijuana in various places inside Crews’ vehicle.

Crews was arrested and booked into the Gila County Jail in Payson.

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