Homeless couple draw police attention for shoplifting and assault

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – In the span of less than a week, a homeless couple drew the attention of police officers multiple times.

On July 22, an officer was initially dispatched at about 2:34 p.m. to an area near the intersection of 20th Avenue and U.S. Highway 70 after a respondent reported seeing an intoxicated man stumbling across the highway while attempting to disrobe.

The officer came upon Corey Dean, 33, and Jenny Garcia, 44, whom he recognized from previous police contacts. The officer had just trespassed Garcia from Walmart the previous day, and as the couple began walking that way he reminded her of that fact. The couple then began walking eastbound toward the Taco Taste restaurant along the highway.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Jenny Garcia

However, a few minutes later, the officer noticed Garcia enter Walmart. He followed her inside and saw her go down the alcohol aisle. Garcia then allegedly attempted to leave the store through a back emergency exit with a bottle of vodka in one hand and an apple in the other, according to the police report.

The emergency alarm went off and the officer ran and caught up to Garcia. She was then placed under arrest for shoplifting and trespassing and was booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility.

A few days later, the couple was back in the same area near the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant when a witness reported seeing Dean assault Garcia.

Upon arrival, an officer located Garcia and Dean walking between Walgreens and Walmart. The officer reported it appeared as if Garcia was attempting to get away from Dean.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Corey Dean

Upon contact, Garcia allegedly told the officer that Dean refused to give her a bag back and that the couple had been arguing over money. She said Dean had struck her, and the officer noted bruising on Garcia’s face in different stages of healing.

Dean said Garcia had some of the money he made panhandling and he just attempted to retrieve it. He claimed that he hit Garcia after she hit him first and then later said he might have only pushed her.

Due to the witness statements and visible injury to Garcia, Dean was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on charges of assault/domestic violence and disorderly conduct/domestic violence.