Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Johnny Ray Morales Casas, 26, was booked into the jail after allegedly attempting to steal a work truck from Fertizona.
By Jon Johnson
GRAHAM COUNTY – Johnny Ray Morales Casas, 26, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on Wednesday, Feb. 25, after allegedly attempting to steal a work truck from a Fertizona employee.
When questioned about the theft, Casas said he intended to steal the truck so he could use it to go to rehab for a drug addiction, according to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report.
Deputies were dispatched at about 9:11 a.m. to Fertizona at 4257 U.S. Highway 70 regarding an attempted theft of the office manager’s work truck. Fertizona is Arizona’s largest agricultural fertilizer and crop protection retailer and has seven locations in Arizona as well as a regional trucking depot and fertilizer production facilities.
According to the report, Casas was initially seen walking in the shop area and then enter the office manager’s work truck. The office manager confronted Casas and told him to get out of the truck and off the property.
When informed of what happened, the general manager detained Casas and told him to wait until the arrival of law enforcement.
Casas initially gave a fictitious name to the responding deputy and advised he had gone to the business to look for employment and had permission to sit in the truck. He then later admitted that he had indeed intended to steal the truck and said he did so to facilitate getting into a rehab for drug addiction, according to the report.
The deputy attempted to check the fictitious name Casas had given for warrants and was informed that there was no record of any such person. A Thatcher officer then arrived at the location and identified the subject as Casas, which was then verified by sending a picture of a heart tattoo Casas has on his chest to a Safford detective.
Casas was then booked into the jail on charges of attempted theft of means of transportation, criminal trespass, and false reporting to law enforcement.