Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A tip from a local pawn shop led to the recovery of a number of items burglarized from a local residence.
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Going through a separation and foreclosure is hard enough without people stealing property that is owned by the victims.
Luckily, a tip from a local pawn shop led police to recover a number of the stolen items.
On Oct. 9, a Safford Police officer met with two victims who reported their home having been burglarized. The victims were in the process of moving out of the residence and were removing the items over a period of time. According to the paperwork they produced, the home was in foreclosure but they had until Oct. 31 to remove all their items.
The victims listed a number of personal items that had been stolen, including a trampoline, jacuzzi, multiple tools, pocket watches, board games, bunk bed frame, gaming consoles, children’s toys, 800-square-feet of vinyl flooring, and several swords and decorative knives among other items.
The officer examined the residence and found property had been thrown around as if someone had thoroughly picked through it. The victims said the property left had been stored in plastic totes with other items for removal.
Later that same day, the officer received a phone call from an employee at the Firing Pin Gun & Pawn Shop who informed him that a man, identified as Lloyd Blackburn, 34, had tried to sell her some swords the previous day. The employee said the swords matched the description given to her by the victim and said when she declined to purchase the swords Blackburn said he would try to sell them at a swap meet the upcoming weekend.
The officer went to Blackburn’s residence Oct. 10 and asked him about the swords. Blackburn allegedly said he got them a while back and that the officer could look at them if he wanted.
While leading him to the swords, the officer noticed other property in plastic totes he believed to have come from the victim’s residence. At that time, Blackburn allegedly admitted taking items from the house and said a friend of his told him the house was foreclosed and that everything inside was going to be thrown away. Blackburn then showed the officer more of the stolen property, including the vinyl flooring, trampoline, children’s bicycles and much more. Additional detectives arrived at the scene and it took three truckloads and two trailer loads to load up all of the stolen property, which was then delivered to an address requested by one of the victim’s.
Even with that amount of property recovered, one of the victims believed more items were still missing. The case was still pending additional information regarding what was still missing and additional suspect information.
Additionally, the victim said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to press charges against Blackburn at that point and would let the officer know later. Possible charges include trespassing, burglary, and theft.