Short chase inside Walmart snares shoplifter

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A man who allegedly shoplifted from Walmart and then went back into the store perhaps for more was caught after a brief chase through the retail establishment. 

John Contreras, 26, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility on March 5 on one count of shoplifting. However, a store security associate believes Contreras was involved in previous shoplifting incidents and showed a still photo from store surveillance when a video game worth about $50 was stolen Jan. 19 with Contreras as the subject in the photo. 

For the March 5 incident, officers were initially dispatched at about 11:33 p.m. to the store regarding shoplifting by Contreras and a female associate, later identified as Raquel Ybarra. 

Upon arrival, officers located Ybarra in a silver, 2012 Lincoln sedan along with items believed to be shoplifted from the store. According to a store associate, Contreras had taken $52.11 worth of items and Ybarra had taken $43.95 worth of items, all of which were returned to the store. 

Ybarra allegedly admitted her role in the shoplifting and was given a citation and released.

After Contreras was captured, he allegedly admitted to shoplifting from the store previously but that he forgets things due to a traumatic brain injury he suffered from when he was in a vehicle collision. 

Contreras was also given a citation for shoplifting but was then taken to the jail and booked on his charge of shoplifting as well. 

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