SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – A suspect arrested after bringing a gun onto a high school campus Wednesday afternoon has been tied to a vehicle burglary earlier that morning.
On 3-14-2012, just before 3:00 p.m., PCSO deputies responded to Poston Butte High School after students and a staff member reported someone had driven on campus and displayed a handgun while inside a vehicle.
Witness informed deputies a 1969 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with three suspects inside had followed a student on campus following an altercation that occurred at a Cirlce K at Bella Vista and Hunt highway prior to the incident on campus. A student who witnessed the incident outside the convenience store stated one suspect, later identified as Kody Smith, 18, of San Tan Valley had pointed a handgun at the head of a second student; Smith was the driver of the Monte Carlo and brandished the weapon near a baseball field before driving away.
|Kody Smith, 18|
Within minutes, deputies tracked down Smith’s vehicle to a Denny’s parking lot at Gary Road and Hunt Hwy where a witness stated Smith threw the weapon into bushes prior to PCSO arriving on scene.
A search of the area turned up a 9mm handgun. A search of Smith’s pockets turned up several credit cards and cash that had been reported stolen from a vehicle outside a convenience store earlier that morning.
The citizen who reported the vehicle theft stated someone had used the credit cards to purchase several hundred dollars worth of merchandise at two separate Wal Mart stores that same day.
Surveillance video pulled from the locations showed Smith making the purchases using the stolen credit cards.
During an interview with PCSO, Smith admitted to stealing the victim’s wallet from a QT convenience store around 2:30 a.m. that same morning and using the credit cars along with several hundred dollars in cash to make multiple purchases.
The two other individuals with Smith cooperated with detectives and indicated they were unaware Smith had a weapon, nor did they know he was in possession of stolen property.
Smith has been charged with Burglary
, Identity Theft
and Fraud Use of a Credit Card
. Additional charges related to the assault with the handgun are expected as investigators wrap-up interviews with witness.
Sheriff Babeu stated, "Thanks to the immediate response and investigative work of our deputies, Kody Smith has been arrested. He's now where he belongs, behind bars awaiting prosecution. I'm grateful no innocent people were hurt during Smith's disregard for the law or safety of others."