Police recover North Carolina stolen car after pursuit through Thatcher to Pima

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: A stolen car with North Carolina license plates was recovered Friday morning after a police pursuit through Thatcher to Pima.

By Jon Johnson


THATCHER – Authorities recovered a stolen car out of North Carolina after a pursuit between Thatcher and Pima on Friday morning. Two suspects were arrested and booked into jail.

The stolen black, 2016 Lincoln MKS was recovered at the Speedway convenience store in Pima, where the pursuit presumably came to an end around 9:30 a.m. when the suspects pulled into the gas station and were taken into custody.  

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: This car stolen from North Carolina was recovered in Pima.

Graham County dispatch received a report from the Lenoir Police Department in North Carolina at about 9:02 a.m. regarding a car stolen from North Carolina possibly being in Graham County. The North Carolina police advised a credit card transaction by a suspect had been made at a gas station in Graham County.

Roughly 20 minutes later, a Thatcher Officer located the suspect vehicle traveling west on Highway 70 in Thatcher. Authorities with the Safford Police Department, Graham County Sheriff’s Office, and Arizona Department of Public Safety joined in the pursuit that ultimately ended in Pima. 

The driver, Paula Evans, 32, and passenger, Mathew Sands, 43, were both wanted out of North Carolina and were taken into custody without incident and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility. While both will face Arizona charges for possession of a stolen vehicle, Thatcher Chief Shaffen Woods advised they will likely be extradited back to North Carolina to face charges there.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Driver Paula Evans, 32, was booked into jail for possession of a stolen vehicle.