Tempe Police officer charged with burgalry, theft

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On Saturday, Aaron Smith was arrested by Tempe Police Detectives on several charges, including theft, burglary, and tampering with physical evidence. By Andrew Michalscheck On Saturday, Aaron Smith was arrested by Tempe Police Detectives on several charges, including theft, burglary, and tampering with physical evidence. By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe Police have arrested one of their own.

On Saturday, Aaron Smith was arrested by Tempe Police detectives on several charges, including theft, burglary, and tampering with physical evidence.

In early July, Tempe Police employees began noticing that several items of police property had gone missing. The items included two Tempe Police bicycles, a GPS, and money.

On July 20, it was discovered that someone had forced their way into a small lock box and taken approximately $750 in cash.

During the course of the investigation, authorities noticed that Smith had access to all the areas where items were taken. His shifts also coincided with the time of the thefts.

On July 26, an undercover officer turned over a purse containing $142 to Smith and told him that it was found property.

Police decided to take Smith into custody on Saturday morning when he had yet to take any steps to impound the money or purse.

Many of the stolen items were eventually found to be in Smith’s possession. In a post-arrest interview Smith admitted to the crimes, explaining that he had been in very bad financial shape.

Smith had been with the Tempe Police Department for seven and a half years. Following his arrest he resigned from his position.