TEMPE, ARIZONA – Tempe Police have arrested one of their own officers.
Officer Aaron Smith was arrested by Tempe Police Detectives Saturday morning on multiple charges including theft, burglary and tampering with physical evidence.
In July, Tempe Police employees began reporting various items of police property were missing. The items included two Tempe Police bicycles, a GPS and money from two separate locations. On Friday, July 20, authorities discovered that forced entry was made into a small lock box that contained petty case totaling over $750.
During the course of the investigation, authorities noticed that Smith has access to all of the secured areas where items were going missing. Each of Smith’s shifts coincided with the times of the thefts and burglaries making him a prime suspect. Although Smith had access to the general areas, in most cases, forced entry was made to remove the items.
On July 26, an undercover officer turned in a purse containing $142 to Smith and told him that it was found property. At the end of Smith’s workweek, he had not taken any steps to process the money or purse as found property.
Smith was taken into custody without incident near Dobson and Southern. Tempe Detectives served search warrants at Smith’s residence where the stolen bikes were recovered along with the missing purse. In a post-arrest interview, Smith admitted to crimes and claimed it was due to his poor financial state.
Smith had been with the Tempe Police Department for over seven years an resigned his position as a Tempe Police Officer.