March 8, 2004

    A 20-year-old man was arrested early Monday on burglary charges after police followed a trail of money that fell from his pocket.

    John Q. Smyth was arrested and charged with felony theft and third-degree burglary. He was transferred to Maricopa County Jail in lieu of $6,850 bond.

    The suspect was first seen looking inside parked cars on the 1100 block of South Ash Avenue. Police monitored him as he continued walking, but they lost track of him near Myrtle and University. Shortly thereafter, he was again seen headed south across University at Maple.

    Police stopped Smyth at 10th and Maple after following him there; meanwhile, a marked patrol unit was taking action to make contact. Before the marked unit’s arrival, the suspect had been seen dropping something as he walked. After communication was established with Smyth, it became clear that he had stuffed his pockets full of money.

    Smyth tried to explain the money by saying that he collects it. Suspicious, Officer Howard DeMasi initiated a search around the area at Myrtle and University—and discovered an unlocked bathroom door behind Panhandler’s Pizza at 106 E. University.

    Further investigation into the bathroom revealed that someone had kicked in one of the inside walls and gained access to the pizza parlor on the other side. Police, upon arresting the suspect, found a key that unlocked the bathroom door. Smyth claimed to have previously worked for Panhandler’s Pizza.

    Police soon found out that the items Smyth had been dropping were bills of different denominations. A search of the area that the officer had followed from University and Myrtle led to the recovery of all of the stolen money, totaling $741.10.

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