Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald
By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A Tucson woman led police on a slow-speed chase while operating an electric wheelchair Wednesday, March 27, after allegedly shoplifting items from Walmart.
Officers were dispatched at about 12:10 p.m. to the store at 755 S. 20th Ave. regarding the theft. Upon arrival, a store employee advised that a woman, later identified as Patricia Jo Clark, had concealed a machete, popcorn, Nutella spread, and a Philly sandwich in a bag attached to her wheelchair. The total value of the shoplifted items came to $45.12.
When the employee attempted to stop Clark at the general merchandise exit, she reportedly fled in the wheelchair southbound on 20th Avenue.
An officer caught up with Clark on 20th Avenue and she “made an evasive turn” eastbound onto Bulldog Boulevard, where Safford High School is located.
After being pulled over, Clark denied being at Walmart and said she had just left a park on 20th Avenue north of her location. However, there are no parks in that area.
Later, Clark allegedly admitted to being at the store and she was given a shoplifting citation and was trespassed from Walmart. An officer also advised that Clark had a current non-extraditable warrant out of Tucson for failure to appear in court on a shoplifting charge there.